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NCJ Number: 201891 Find in a Library
Title: Bail: An Examination of Contemporary Issues
Author(s): Georgia Brignell
Date Published: November 2002
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Sydney NSW, 2000
Sale Source: Judicial Cmssn of New South Wales
Level 5
301 George Street
Sydney NSW,
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper provides an overview of recent changes to New South Wales (Australia) bail law and presents statistical findings that relate to bail decisions.
Abstract: The decision to grant or refuse bail has important implications for the rights of the accused. Refusal of bail not only takes away the liberty of a person presumed to be innocent, but also has an impact on subsequent criminal proceedings, such as lack of access to legal and rehabilitation resources. Bail laws and decisions based on them thus highlight the tension between the competing concepts of the presumption of innocence and protection of the community. An examination of recent bail laws in New South Wales and associated parliamentary debates reveals a shift away from upholding the rights of the individual toward appeasing community fear of violent crime. Critics of recent bail reform in New South Wales argue that failure to appear at a criminal proceeding does not in itself justify terminating bail; that it may encourage persons to plead guilty when a noncustodial sentence is offered, rather than spend time in pretrial custody; that more accused persons will be placed in custody; and that pretrial custody jeopardizes the employment and family life of the accused person. This paper discusses the concept of risk as the basis for bail decisions and then reviews statistics pertinent to absconding while on bail, bailee offenses compared with remandee subsequent convictions, and trends in the remand population. A review of relevant case law focuses on the presumption against bail for certain drug offenses, the refusal of bail on a prior occasion, a pending appeal, and loopholes in the law. A review of bail law in other countries focuses on Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand. A table outlines the major amendments to the presumptions in the New South Wales Bail Act of 1978. 2 tables and 95 notes
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Bail discrimination; Bail reform; Bail/Financial Release; Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign laws; New South Wales
Note: Sentencing Trends & Issues, Number 24
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