Govt tables bail report: ‘common-sense reforms’

The NSW Attorney General, Greg Smith (pictured), yesterday tabled the NSW Law Reform Commission’s report on the NSW Bail Act.

PIAC believes the report proposes a common-sense set of reforms for NSW bail law, striking a better balance in protecting the community at large and vulnerable people caught up in the criminal justice system.

‘The Commission has recognised that the Bail Act is overly complex and impacts harshly on vulnerable people,’ said PIAC chief executive officer, Edward Santow.

‘If implemented, the Commission’s recommendations will simplify the NSW law on bail, making it fairer, more consistent and better suited for the whole community.’

The Commission’s recommendations include :

* Asking courts, when considering bail applications, to take account of an individual’s health and their ability to prepare for their trial.

* Asking courts to take into account an individual’s mental health illness and whether they are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background.

* Allowing people under the age of 18 to make repeat applications for bail.

The NSW Government says it will examine the Commission’s report and respond to its recommendations by the end of this year.

Related content:

Police fight bail law softening as welfare groups back review, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2012.

Hanged, drawn and quartered – and that’s just the Bail Act, Opinion, Richard Ackland, Sydney Morning Herald, 15 June 2012.

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