There are a number of matters affecting pubs that have been devolved to the Scottish Government. Alcohol licensing is one of these, and is governed by the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 which sets out the five main objectives that inform the licensing regime:

  • Preventing crime and disorder
  • Securing public safety
  • Preventing public nuisance
  • Protecting and improving public health
  • Protecting children from harm

Each local authority has its own Licensing Board, which administers the licensing system in the local area. They are responsible for the grant and maintenance of premises and personal licences and enforcing the Act, with the power to review and revoke licences.

Since the introduction of the Licensing Act in 2007, there have been amendments to the licensing regime by other pieces of legislation such as the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2015. The SBPA monitors proposed changes and responds to consultations on changes to the law. Examples of recent responses will be listed below.