|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Constitution
The Victorian Licensing Court came into operation on 30 June 1954. It was constituted under the Licensing Amendment Act 1953 (No.5767) and assumed the functions of the Licensing Court of Victoria (VA 2955).
The new Court was to be under the Chairmanship of a Judge of the County Court, the two other members being magistrates, with tenure extended from three to seven years (s.8).
The Act also made provision for the appointment of a Supervisor of Licenced Premises (s.11) who was aided by nine assistant supervisors. The duties of the office included examining and reporting upon the nature and extent of hotel accommodation for the public and the provision made for the supply of meals and refreshments in hotels; consulting with licensing inspectors on proposed plans for new licensed premises, or alterations and extensions to existing hotels and clubs and reporting to the Court re same; and generally assisting the Licensing Court (s.11.2-4). The new Supervisor's Department of the Victorian Licensing Court was staffed by members of the Police Force.
The Court had complete jurisdiction over the granting, transfer, cancellation and supervision of all liquor licences, with authority to impose penalties, hear evidence taken under oath and administer all related permits. Under the new legislation the functions of the Court were extended to include the control and supervision of "sanitation, hygiene, ventilation, cooling, heating, fire prevention and the cleanliness of food in all licensed premises".
For the purpose of reviewing licences annually the Licensing Court held Annual Sittings usually in November and December. Applications for renewal were made by all licensees, country licensees setting down their applications with the Licensing Clerk for that particular area. A magistrate held a sitting on the appointed day in the Court House at each of the prescribed centres.
The Court was not restricted as to the number of licences that it had the power to grant, the State having been constituted as one licensing district by the 1953 legislation (s.2). In the event of a cancellation of a licence the Court sat as the Licences Reduction Board (VA 2906) in order to fix compensation. This, and the acceptance of voluntary licence surrender were the only remaining functions of the Board until it's dissolution in 1968, when the Victorian Licensing Court was abolished and the Liquor Control Commission (VA 1110) assumed all the responsibilities associated with liquor licensing in Victoria.
Location of Records
For central records of the Victorian Licensing Court see list below. For licensing records of district courts see geographical groupings of courts in List of Holdings 2nd edition 1985, sections 2.8.0.-2.256.0.