Hemming (T/A Simply Pleasure) and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Westminster City Council: SC 19 Jul 2017

The claimant challenged fees which were charged to the respondents on applying to Westminster City Council for sex shop licences for the three years ended 31 January 2011, 2012 and 2013 and which included the council’s costs of enforcing the licensing scheme against unlicensed third parties running sex shops (‘enforcement costs’). The respondents’ applications all in the event succeeded, and I can call them ‘the licence holders’.
Held: During the year at issue, the fault as only in requiring a contribution to the costs of running the scheme at the time of the application for the licence. A similar fee at the time of the grant of a licence was not invalid. The balance as remitted to the Administrative court.
‘The scheme which the council operated was only defective in so far as it required payment up front at the time of the application. Its invalidity was limited. Contrary to the respondents’ case, European law permits a fee to cover the costs of running and enforcing the licensing scheme becoming due upon the grant of a licence. There is no imperative under European law, as incorporated domestically by the 2009 Regulations, to treat the whole scheme as invalid, rather than to invalidate it to the extent of the inconsistency’
Lord Neuberger, President, Lord Mance, Lord Clarke, Lord Reed, Lord Toulson
[2017] UKSC 50, [2017] WLR(D) 553, [2018] AC 676, [2017] 3 WLR 342, [2017] PTSR 1020, UKSC 2013/0146
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video, SC 20170511 am Video
Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Provision of Services Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/2999)
England and Wales
Citing:
At CAHemming (T/A Simply Pleasure Ltd) and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v The Lord Mayor and Citizens of Westminster CA 24-May-2013
The claimant had submitted an application for a licence to operate a sex shop. On its failure it sought repayment of that part of the fee which related to the costs of supervising the system, rather than the costs of dealing with the application. It . .
At SC (1)Hemming (T/A Simply Pleasure Ltd) and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Westminster City Council SC 29-Apr-2015
The parties disputed the returnability of the fees paid on application for a sex establishment licence where the licence was refused. The fee was in part one for the application, and a second and greater element related to the costs of monitoring . .
At ECJHemming and Others v Westminster City Council and Others ECJ 16-Nov-2016
Charges for processing application for licence
ECJ Judgment – Reference for a preliminary ruling – Freedom to provide services – Directive 2006/123/EC – Article 13(2) – Authorisation procedures – Concept of charges which may be incurred . .
CitedLady and Kid A/S, Direct Nyt ApS, A/S Harald Nyborg Isenkram-og Sportsforretning, KID-Holding A/S v Skatteministeriet ECJ 6-Sep-2011
Refusal to reimburse a tax paid in error – Unjust enrichment arising from the link between the introduction of that tax and the abolition of other taxes . .
CitedDirector of Public Prosecutions v Hutchinson; Director of Public Prosecutions v Smith HL 12-Jul-1990
Protesters objected that byelaws which had been made to prevent access to common land, namely Greenham Common were invalid.
Held: The byelaws did prejudice the rights of common. The House was concerned to clarify the test applicable when . .
CitedLady and Kid A/S, Direct Nyt ApS, A/S Harald Nyborg Isenkram-og Sportsforretning, KID-Holding A/S v Skatteministeriet ECJ 7-Dec-2010
ECJ (Opinion) Taxes do not conform to National Union law – Repayment – Refusal – Repercussion – Unjust enrichment – Compensation for illegal tax by the simultaneous removal of other statutory charges – Internal . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 25 February 2021; Ref: scu.590446