The Bail Review was undertaken by the former Director of Public Prosecutions and Supreme Court Justice, the Hon Paul Coghlan QC, following the Bourke Street tragedy on 20 January 2017.

The Bail Review received 115 submissions and involved 39 consultation sessions with 34 different stakeholder groups.

The first report was provided to the Victorian Government on 3 April 2017 and the second report was provided on 1 May 2017, resulting in 37 recommendations in total.

The government has announced it will implement each of the recommendations in the first report, and conduct further consultation on the longer-term recommendations outlined in the second report.

The government intends to introduce a Bill into Parliament by the end of May 2017 as the first stage of implementing the recommended reforms.

A second Bill will be introduced into Parliament later in the year and will cover some of the more complex matters and recommendations.

The recommendations will be implemented progressively, as many are highly involved and will have significant planning considerations for the courts, Victoria Police and Corrections Victoria.


The public was invited to upload a submission or respond directly to any, or all, of the questions below.

  • How should the necessary balance between protection of the community and the presumption of innocence be best reflected in section 4 of the Bail Act 1977?
  • What is the appropriateness of the current tests of exceptional circumstances, show cause and unacceptable risk and the offences to which those tests apply?
  • Should additional offences be added to the list of offences which place an accused person into the show cause or exceptional circumstances categories?
  • Do you have any comments on the way in which other relevant circumstances (for example, a history of prior offending or offences committed while on bail), are considered in assessing whether an accused person should be granted bail?
  • Is information available for consideration by decision-makers in the bail system sufficient to properly consider and assess the risks that are posed by accused persons, including those with complex risks, needs and case histories?
  • Do you have any comments on the conduct of bail applications out of hours including the role of Bail Justices?
  • In relation to out of hours applications, are different rules required for different types of offences?

Thank you to those who submitted contributions.