: Bail Review (NSW) 2011

Bail Review (NSW) 2011

Lesley Townsley
New South Wales

In 2010 the Labor government in NSW released an exposure draft of the Bail Bill 2010 and the Review of the Bail Act 1978. This Bill included some significant changes to the current law, such as the removal of the s 32 criteria to be considered in bail applications. In its place a restrictive objects clause was drafted, which did not make any mention of the interests of an accused. In relation to this there were several submissions on the exposure draft expressing concern or criticism over these proposed changes.

On 8 June 2011, the recently elected Liberal government, via the Attorney-General, asked the NSW Law Reform Commission (‘LRC’) to undertake a review of bail law with eight terms of reference. The LRC received 13 submissions, the majority recognised the need for reform in relation to the complexities of bail law.

In relation to whether the Bail Act should include a statement of factors to be taken into account in determining a bail application, such as s 32, ten of the submissions advocated for the inclusion of such a statement. The other three did not address this aspect. In relation to whether the Bail Act should include a statement of objects, the majority of submissions supported an objects clause in order to clarify the purpose of the Act and importantly to include a statement about the interests of an accused.

To view the terms of reference and the submissions go to:

LESLEY TOWNSLEY teaches law at the University of Technology, Sydney.

(2011) 36(3) AltLJ 207
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