16. Hearing of applications
(1) An application for the grant or renewal of a licence under this Act shall be granted on the order of a magistrate, and not otherwise.
(2) Every hearing of an application for ¾
(a) the grant of a licence; or
(b) the renewal of a licence where a person has given notice of objection,
shall be a judicial proceeding open to the public, and may be at any time adjourned by the magistrate.
(3) Any party may appear and be represented by a solicitor or agent, and the magistrate shall hear the applicant, if the applicant so desires, and any objector who has given the prescribed notice and appears before him.
(4) Unless the magistrate so requires, it shall not be necessary for the proposed licensee to appear in person.
(5) Unless ¾
(a) notice of objection has been given; or
(b) the magistrate otherwise requires,
an application for the renewal of a licence may be taken in Chambers.
(6) If the magistrate is satisfied that the proposed licensee is a fit and proper person to hold a licence then, subject to section 8(2), he may grant the application, but not otherwise.
(7) A licence may be granted or renewed subject to such conditions, limitations or restrictions as the magistrate thinks fit to impose, and where the application is for the grant or renewal of a general licence the magistrate may instead grant a restricted licence if he so thinks fit.
(8) If any objection to an application appears to the magistrate to be frivolous or vexatious he may order the person so objecting to pay to the applicant the costs of and occasioned by the objection, and if an application is refused, or is granted or renewed subject to any condition, limitation or restriction which would not have been imposed had an objection not been made, the magistrate may order the applicant to pay to an objector the whole or a part of the costs of and incidental to his objection.
(9) Subject to section 12, the prescribed fee shall be paid in full on the grant of a licence.
[Section 16 amended by No. 59 of 2004 s. 141.]