Bail Essay

Topics: Crime, Criminal law, Bail Pages: 2 (723 words) Published: February 16, 2015
Using the issue of bail/remand, complete a practice piece of writing. The legal concept of bail refers to the conditional freedom of a person charged with a criminal offence. The purposes of bail are to protect society from potentially violent and dangerous offenders and to minimise the amount of inmates held on remand. The decision to grant bail is made by a magistrate in a formal bail hearing held in the local court. Under certain circumstances police can grant bail. Bail is a crucial part of the criminal investigation process and any person charged with a criminal offence has the right to apply for bail. A magistrate hears a bail application in the local court and determines whether the person is a danger to society or not. If the magistrate believes there may be risks associated with granting a certain person bail they may impose conditions to mitigate these risks. Some common Bail conditions include the suspension of passports, routine police check ups, payment of surety’s and electronic monitoring. The issue of bail is highly debated and has thus attracted the attention of legal experts resulting in several commissions and reforms. To be effective the Criminal Justice System must balance the rights of offenders with the States responsibility to protect society and prosecute criminals. The Bail Act 1978 (NSW) created a system of presumption for or against bail based on the nature of the criminal charges. This presumption based system had its weakness’s which included the increase in presumption on bail leading to increasing number on remand, a high number of vulnerable groups such as young offenders, indigenous offenders and re-offenders were frequently found in remand. Controversy arose with 30% of people on remand receiving a guilty verdict and 10% of those receiving a jail sentence. Critics of this act called for a review of the Bail Act 1978. The NSW Law Reform Commission conducted a detailed and lengthy review assisted by many legal experts and thus...
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