find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
NSW Bail Act changes attacked by media

NSW Bail Act changes attacked by media

Proposed changes to the Bail Act in NSW have been supported by legal bodies but widely criticised in the media.

NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith tabled a report into the Bail Act (the Act) by the NSW Law Reform Commission on Wednesday (13 June).

The report made some scathing criticisms of the Act.

It described the “cumulative effect” of numerous amendments to the Act over the years as adding a “complexity to the legislation which makes it difficult to comprehend and operate, even for those with legal expertise”.
The current Bail Act was first enacted into law in 1978.

The report was headed by Hal Sperling QC and James Wood QC, who was the Royal Commissioner that presided over a Royal Commission into the NSW Police Force.

The NSW Law Reform Commission report said that rates of detention had increased rapidly in the past 20 years and singled out the rates of unsentenced detention for young people and Indigenous Australians as being of “concern”.

The report recommended that the right to bail should be replaced with an entitlement for unconditional release for defendants charged with fine-only offences, certain offences under the Summary Offences Act 1988 and defendants referred to a Youth Justice Conference.

The report also recommends that adults be able to make two, rather than one, applications to the court for bail.

“We believe that bail reform is necessary to restore balance in the system, reintroduce the presumption of innocence and address issues relating to the high rate of juvenile detention in NSW,” said Justin Dowd (pictured above), the president of the Law Society of NSW. “This should help to reduce the burden on the prison system and the financial burden this creates for the community.”

Despite an overhaul of the Act being supported by the NSW Law Society and other bodies such as the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, conservative media commentators have hit out at the report, believing its recommendations have the potential to allow individuals accused of serious criminal offences such as murder and rape to be freed on bail, pending trial.

The NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith has indicated that the NSW Government will look to implement some or all of the report’s recommendations.

“The Government went to the election with a commitment to review the Bail Act and that is what we are doing,” he said. “The Bail Act is so complex it is little wonder we regularly get decisions that are inconsistent and confuse the public.”

Smith said the Government would respond to the recommendations by the end of the year.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

NSW Bail Act changes attacked by media
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...