Liquor Licensing

Closes 6 Dec 2019

Opened 22 Oct 2019


The Department for Communities is seeking views on current liquor licensing laws, their impact, if any, and what changes could be considered in the future to ensure Northern Ireland has a more flexible and modern licensing framework to respond to changing expectations and lifestyles.

Views are currently being sought on the general principles and it should be noted that any changes to licensing law must also be balanced with the need for regulation in the public interest.

Why We Are Consulting

The last general review of Northern Ireland’s liquor licensing laws took place in 2012 resulting in the Licensing and Registration of Clubs (Amendment) Bill 2016.  This Bill included measures aimed at contributing towards a reduction in alcohol related harm and making the licensed trade more sustainable and attractive to tourists.  The Bill was making its way through the Assembly’s legislative process but when the Assembly collapsed in January 2017, it could no longer be progressed.

Given the passage of time since the last review, recent developments in other jurisdictions and growing public interest in licensing issues, the Department believes that it is appropriate to carry out a consultation on current licensing policy.

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