Licensing of pubs, restaurants and hotels to move online

New Courts Service system to be rolled out nationally by first half of next year

A pilot programme is being run in four counties before the service is rolled out nationally

A pilot programme is being run in four counties before the service is rolled out nationally

 

More than 40,000 paper applications will soon no longer be necessary as the Courts Service moves the filing of documents for pub, hotel and restaurant licensing online.

Instead of a manual and time-consuming process to register and search for intoxicating liquor and club licences, the Courts Service has devised an online register, which is live from today.

“The Courts Service plans to fully roll out the online e-licensing system over the coming year, saving solicitors’ firms and ultimately clients both time and money. That amounts to up to 50,000 transactions going from paper and attendance at an office, to online,” said Chief Justice Frank Clarke.

The register will also provide free access online to those looking to see who holds a licence for any premises in the country, removing the need to travel to the relevant court office to obtain information. Historical licensing records since 2009 can also be obtained for a €35 fee per premises.

A pilot programme is being run in four counties before the service is rolled out nationally in the first half of 2020.

Central to strategy

Chief Justice Frank Clarke said that the courts “now also have online fines payments, online small claims applications, online judgment search, online legal diary search, online deed poll register, and an online bankruptcy register. But there is a lot more to do and increased digitalisation forms a key central part of our strategy”.

Some 41,890 licensing applications were received last year, of which special exemption orders accounted for the bulk. There were 812 pub licences renewed during the year, 868 dance licences and 1,376 lottery licences awarded. The volume of licences has been steadily declining since 2016, when 49,038 were granted.

Under the new system, premises can complete their application online and potential eliminate attendance at the District Court.

The service marks a commitment by the Courts Service to streamline online services offered to the public by reducing the reliance on paper-based methods in favour of online processes. The service has, since July 2016, manually entered about 45,000 licensing applications in the new system.