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Book reviews

1 March 01

Reviews of Licensing Law in Scotland; Lexcel Practice Excellence Kit

by Tom Johnston, John Macmillan

Cummins: Licensing Law in Scotland (2nd edition)

This book is in the same vein as the first edition. The law is clearly set out in an accessible fashion. The practitioner will find all manner of practical tips and helpful hints. Those researching for a court room battle will find an author unafraid to express his views on many of the grey areas to be found in the legislation, views which have often found favour with the judiciary over the past seven years.

The scope of the book is not restricted to liquor licensing. There is a short chapter on gaming and games in liquor licensed premises, but the book is full of pointers to the other types of permissions and licences which should be considered from time to time, including licences under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act and the Gaming Acts.

If I have a quibble, it is a minor one. The non classical scholar may need to have a volume of Latin maxims at his side if he is to derive maximum benefit from this book. Although without it we would not find ourselves in a new millennium, I do not share Mr Cummins’ enthusiasm for legal Latin.

But that aside I commend this piece of work to anyone involved in liquor licensing, whether lawyer or non lawyer. All will benefit from a clear flowing prose style which is a pleasure to read, and from well reasoned incisive analysis and argument. In short, this is a very good book indeed.

Tom Johnston

Lexcel Practice Excellence Kit

Practice Excellence Kit sounds like it must be too good to be true. Is this another pipe dream? No.

The kit comprises an office procedures manual and an assessment guide. The former is first class. It comprises suggested procedures for everything and anything in microscopic detail. It deals with everything from client care to finance, health and safety to library, personnel procedures to risk management. You will be amazed at the depth of coverage – everything from office parking to pre-appraisal questionnaires.

The book not only gives you ideas but documentary suggestions for your use such as appraisal forms, job descriptions and personnel forms and procedures.

If you are in a sophisticated firm with layers of administration you may think that all of this is a case of “granny being taught to suck eggs”.

I recommend that the book is worth a read. For £70 you will almost certainly find several workable ideas as they drip from its pages.

The second volume is the assessment guide. This is directed at England and Wales lawyers. I thought it was a pale shadow of its companion in terms of general interest. Mine was lost.

Having said that, however, the manual is worth the price of the kit alone.

John Macmillan