When Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a review into the impact of the Licensing Act 2003 (introduced in November 2005) it marked another landmark in a turbulent period since licensing laws were liberalised.
The review, "announced" at the Labour Conference in Bournemouth, was simply recycling a three month old announcement that said exactly the same.
The pub industry points out that the Act has been in place for long enough to discover if extended opening hours has lead to an increase or decrease in anti-social behaviour.
There are contrary arguments about who can sell alcohol, or be prosecuted for offences under the Act. The seller is defined in the law as both a person and a company but fixed penalty notices for selling to under 18's can only be given to individuals.
But the act has so far failed to bring in doomsday scenarios of 24-hour drinking and the evidence so far is that despite its teething problems the intention of sweeping away standard opening and closing hours and gave residents a greater say in the process has been largely successful.
On this dedicated landing page, we round-up up all the news, views and debate about licensing.
Scottish Licensing Act
North of the boarder the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 is set to be introduced in September 2009. Its progress to law has not been smooth with six Scottish ministers taking charge of the passage of the Act since its inception.
Major concerns exist about its proposed costs to licensees. A consultation on the Licensing Act, launched by the Scottish Government in June, proposed to increase licence fees to cover the cost of the appeals process but the Scottish Beer and Pub Association have been vocal critics of this proposal.
The Act, once it becomes law, will also enshrine bans on drinks promotions such as Happy Hours and two-for-one offers. Since the beginning of April 2007 licensed premises have operated with guidelines ensuring the responsible promotion of alcoholic drinks under a partnership agreement between 16 trade associations. It follows the rules in the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005, even though the legislation won't be introduced until 2009.