Manchester on Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Law

Manchester on Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Law

Review of Manchester on Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Law

Law 4th edition by Colin Manchester
Publisher: Woods Whur Publishing
ISBN: 9780957267718, 2 Volumes, 968 pages & 400 pages,
Paperback £100.00
Available from

The long-awaited 4th edition of Colin Manchester’s authoritative textbook on the Licensing Act 2003 has finally been published, once again by Woods Whur, but this time in 2 softback volumes. This is necessary because of the size of the volumes. With a total of some 1400 pages this could not be published in paperback in one volume, and Colin has taken the decision to remove the materials from the main volume.

Volume 1 is therefore the commentary on the workings of the Licensing Act, together with Tables and Index, and Volume 2 contains all the legislation (primary and secondary) plus the Secretary of State’s Guidance. It is unfortunate that a few weeks after publication, revised guidance was published in April 2018 which means that Appendix 12 in Volume 2 is obsolete. This is the risk that the author of every law book takes, but it does seem that Colin is particularly unlucky because the same thing happened with his last edition. That said, it does not detract from the overall value of this important work.

Well known in licensing circles, Colin Manchester was the first Professor of Licensing Law in the country at Birmingham University, and then continued with a similar Chair at the University of Warwick. Although he has now retired from academic life, it is clear that he still has his finger firmly on the licensing pulse.

This new edition is completely up-to-date. Provisions that only came into effect in April 2018 (after publication) relating to cumulative impact zones being placed on a statutory footing are considered in detail (paragraphs 4.3.7 to 4.3.9), and likewise there is some consideration of the law as it currently stands (but has yet to be brought into force) on Community and Ancillary Sellers Notices (CAN).

The remainder of the 950 or so pages of text provides an extraordinarily detailed assessment, analysis and commentary on the entire workings of the Licensing Act 2003. The detail is extraordinary, with the text amplified by not only relevant sections of the legislation but also extracts from a significant number of judgements. It is a testament to the breadth of Colin’s knowledge and research that many cases are included which are not directly related to the Licensing Act, but which have an impact on either the interpretation of the Act or other Senior Court decisions.

Colin’s style is scholarly yet readable and the presence of a good index enables the user to find the relevant area with ease. The paragraph numbering does seem slightly eccentric, but it is the format that has been used since the first edition. A more irritating feature is that footnotes are not to be found at the foot of the page where the reference is made, but at the end of each chapter. This then involves some considerable flicking backwards and forwards to ensure that the full impact of the passage is understood.

However, neither of these points detract from the overall value of this book. Other works such as Paterson’s Licensing Acts 2018 (reviewed in the January Bulletin) give a good overview and a rapid assessment of the licensing act, but nothing compares to the depth of analysis provided by Manchester on Alcohol and Entertainment Licensing Law. The first 3 editions have been my go-to book for the Licensing Act and I am absolutely certain that this edition will maintain that tradition. I would go so far as to say that it is essential for any practitioner.

James T H Button 31st May 2018

Colin Manchester provides here an overview of the 4th edition which is in a Frequently Asked Questions format, even though some of the questions may not be frequently asked and some may not be asked at all!

What’s new in the book?

Quite a lot and the book should cover everything of importance that has occurred since the last edition in 2012 and the cut-off date for this edition, which is 1 May 2017. There have been many legislative changes over this period – secondary legislation making provision on early morning alcohol restriction orders, a late night levy, regulated entertainment, mandatory conditions and late night refreshment, coupled with changes in primary legislation made by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime Policing Act 2014, the Deregulation Act 2015, the Immigration Act 2016 and the Policing and Crime Act 2017. A fair amount of additional text has been needed to explain the changes. So, for example, the closure powers in ss 161-166 of the Licensing Act 2003 were dealt with in the 3rd edition in 12 pages (pp 650-661) but these have now been repealed and replaced by the closure powers in the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime Policing Act 2014. In the 4th edition it has taken 30 pages to cover these new closure powers (pp 752-781). Even when there has been deregulation, as there has been for regulated entertainment, there is no saving of text as it is necessary to explain when deregulation applies and when it does not. So several extra pages are needed to explain the additional conditions for entertainment to constitute regulated entertainment and exemptions continue to grow exponentially. Covering exemptions required only a modest 11 pages when the book was first published (2005), this had increased to 16 pages (pp 197-213) by the 3rd edition and in the 4th edition it is now 33 pages (pp 219-252)!

So, the book has got ever fatter and we are likely to get a hernia carrying it round?

No. We have taken steps to avoid this. The book, at 976 pages, is slimmer than the 3rd edition which is 1183 pages, so it will be easier to carry around. There is no reduction in paper thickness or in font/text size, which remain the same. This has been achieved by publishing the book so that it includes the Prelims (Table of Cases etc) at the beginning, the text of the 12 chapters and the Index at the end, as usual, but with no appendices. The appendices, which are 400 pages, are instead published separately as a companion volume. The rationale for this is explained in the book’s Preface as follows:

There has been one significant change to the format of the book, which is that the appendices have been published in a separately bound volume from the text of the book. This is due to the increased length of the book (over 200 extra pages) compared to the previous edition. This makes the book more portable and gives users the option of either having with them the appendices as a hard copy volume or accessing the material in the appendices electronically, since virtually all of this is available on the internet. In order to make it easier to access the appendices electronically, it will be possible to download them from the Woods Whur website.

Binding the book with appendices as a single volume would be on the margin of what is possible. It would require wafer thin paper (think Paterson …) and a spine thickness within half a millimetre of the 57mm maximum. The thicker the spine, the more likely it is to come apart at the binding after heavy use, so this minimises the possibility of that happening.

The Book and the Appendices are numbered separately. Thus the Book is numbered from page 1 to page 976 and the Appendices are numbered from page 1 to page 400. The Contents page in the Prelims in the Book includes both the Book’s Contents and the Appendices’ Contents and their page

numbers. There is also a separate page at the beginning of the Appendices which lists the various Appendices and their page numbers.

Have the Appendices changed much from the previous edition?

A couple have been deleted. One is Appendix 12 DCMS Guidance on Police Powers to Close Premises under the Licensing Act 2003, following the repeal of ss 161-166 of the 2003 Act, and the other is Appendix 13 DCMS Guidance on Expedited/Summary Licence Reviews, as this has now been incorporated into the s 182 Guidance. These two appendices have been replaced by the Licensing Act 2003 (Mandatory Licence Conditions) Order 2014 and the Licensing Act 2003 (Late Night Refreshment) Regulations 2015, so the number of appendices remains unchanged at 14. Three schedules (Schedules 6-8) in the 2003 Act in Appendix 1, which are largely of historical significance have also been excluded, in the main because they take up a disproportionate amount of space relative to their importance (or, rather, their lack of importance).

What are the covers of the Book and the Appendices like?

The Book has the same style of cover as the 3rd edition but with a different main colour. Instead of blue and gold, it is maroon and gold or, if you prefer, claret and gold. It is more likely to be described as claret and gold if you are a red wine drinker and/or a supporter of Huddersfield’s rugby league team (I declare an interest here on both counts) and claret seems an entirely appropriate colour to have for a book which includes the licensing of alcohol! The Appendices has the same style of cover as the Book and has 4th Edition Appendices on both the front cover and the spine, whereas the Book just has 4th Edition on the front cover and spine. So, they come as a matching pair.

Might I pick up the wrong one, as they are both the same colour, as I rush out of the office?

I hope not. The spine of the Appendices is much slimmer than the Book (which is almost two and half times thicker) and the words “4th Edition Appendices” are written on both the front cover and on the spine of the Appendices. The Appendices also has a section of gold on the spine which is half the height of the section of gold on the book, which makes the two easily distinguishable. If you do find that you keep picking up the wrong one, perhaps a visit to Specsavers would be in order …

Should a buy a copy?

Yes, definitely.

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