HC Deb 12 November 1980 vol 992 cc216-7W
Mr. Cryer

asked the Attorney-General what safeguards exist to prevent magistrates with financial interests dealing with licensing or gaming licence applications and renewals; and whether he is satisfied that these safeguards are universally and rigorously applied.

The Solicitor-General

Section 193 of the Licensing Act 1964 sets out various disqualifications preventing magistrates from acting for any purpose under that Act if they have personal financial or other business interests involved. There are no similar statutory disqualifications in respect of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1963–68, but as a matter of general principle justices are disqualified from hearing any application in which they have a financial interest. Any breach can be challenged in the courts, and, if any breach is known to have taken place, the matter should be reported immediately to the Lord Chancellor, who would treat the matter as serious and, where appropriate, with severity.