find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Bail law should be overhauled

Bail law should be overhauled

THE LAW Society of New South Wales has called for an overhaul of the law for determining bail, submitting key recommendations to the State Government in an effort to make the system simpler, it…

THE LAW Society of New South Wales has called for an overhaul of the law for determining bail, submitting key recommendations to the State Government in an effort to make the system simpler, it says.

Labelling the Bail Act 1978 “a complete mess”, Law Society president John McIntyre said it is complicated and “overdue for a rewrite”. He said under the current law too many people who were eventually acquitted by a jury had unnecessarily languished in jail for a long period while they awaited trial. As well, the Society supports the idea that only one of three presumptions should apply when a person goes before the court.

The Bail Act has been amended numerous times over the last 26 years, McIntyre said, “with the government of the day responding in a piecemeal way to its perception of the mood of the community.”

“Bail is not an instrument of punishment. It is a means of ensuring the attendance in court of a person charged with a criminal offence,” McIntyre said.

“Confusion arising from the overly complicated bail laws is contributing to an erosion of public confidence in the legal system.” Simplifying the law and removing the ‘exceptional circumstances’ provisions that complicate the process could eliminate that confusion, he said.

Key recommendations made by the Society support the application of only one of three presumptions when a person goes before the court: either a presumption in favour of bail; a presumption against bail, or a neutral presumption.

The presumption in relation to bail would be determined solely by the seriousness of the offence, McIntyre said.

“The court would then consider an expanded list of all matters relevant to bail, enabling it to have a broader discretion when determining bail for the accused.

“We firmly support the Attorney General’s Department’s proposal to overhaul the Bail Act to achieve a more coherent system when determining if the accused should, or should not be granted bail,” McIntyre said.

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

Bail law should be overhauled
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice, ALA, right-to-die law
06:04
‘Right-to-die’ laws would be a relief for terminally ill: ALA
The passage of an assisted dying bill through the lower house of Victorian Parliament has been haile...
Diversity
06:00
Diversity top of agenda for future WA Law Society president
The advancement of diversity in the Western Australian legal profession will be one of the key items...
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...