|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
Establishment and Constitution
The Licensing Act 1916 (No.2855) made provision for the concentration of the whole jurisdiction with regard to the granting of licences and their control and supervision under the newly constituted Licensing Court of Victoria (ss.34-37).
The new Court consisted of three magistrates, where formerly this function had been administered throughout Victoria by twenty police magistrates and three County Court judges (VA 2870). Each of the persons holding office as a member of the Licences Reduction Board (VA 2906) was, under the Act, immediately deemed to have been appointed a Licensing Magistrate (s.35). Centralised administration was achieved with the appointment of the Secretary of the Licences Reduction Board as the Registrar of the new court.
The system of licensing inspectors was continued, the duties of inspecting premises and enforcing the provisions of the Act being undertaken by nominated members of the police force who were not to be below the rank of sub-inspector. An additional duty of the inspectors was to submit an annual report to the Court.
Hearings were held on a circuit basis in courts of petty sessions appointed by the Governor-in-Council as licensing courts to serve various licensing districts. Notification of the annual sittings of the courts and their location appeared in the Government Gazettes.
The clerks of such courts would undertake the role of Licensing Clerk and would administer all licensing business in the locality and report directly to the Registrar of the Licensing Court.
Prior to the passing of the Licensing Amendment Act 1922 (No.3259) there were two hundred and seventeen licensing districts in Victoria each consisting of one division of an electoral district. However section six of the new legislation provided that an entire electoral district should be the licensing district, thereby reducing the number to sixty-five.
The Licensing Court had jurisdiction over all matters relating to:
( the granting or refusal of all applications for licences to be issued under the provisions of the Act;
( the revocation ,forfeiture, or cancellation of such licences;
( the imposition of penalties authorised by the Act;
( hearings of appeals from inspector's orders;
( the disqualification of licensed persons and premises.
The 1922 Act also empowered the Court to approve plans and to order the provision of additional accommodation and improvements where it thought them desirable section fourteen.
The Court continued until 1953 when legislation made provision for the establishment of the Victorian Licensing Court (VA 2905) in 1954.
Location of Records
Records relating to the activities of the Court can be found in VPRS 7784/P1 Licensing Court Memoranda and in VPRS 7785 Memoranda, Castlemaine Licensing Court. Records of district licensing courts may also be found among the records of the geographical grouping of courts, see List of Holdings, 2nd edition 1985, sections 2.8.0-2.256.0.