The review into Victoria’s bail system will consider seven specific questions. It will focus on legislative and practical reforms to manage risk and maximise community safety.
The review is being conducted by the Hon Paul Coghlan QC. Mr Coghlan will provide his advice to the government on legislative reform by Monday 3 April 2017, and on any other relevant matters by Monday 1 May 2017.
Terms of reference
1. How the necessary balance between protection of the community and the presumption of innocence should be best reflected in section 4 of the Bail Act 1977;
2. The appropriateness of the current tests of exceptional circumstances, show cause and unacceptable risk, and an examination of the offences to which those tests apply;
3. Whether additional offences should be added to the list of offences which place an accused person into the show cause or exceptional circumstances categories;
4. 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;
5. Whether information available for consideration by decision-makers in the bail system is sufficient to properly consider and assess the risks that are posed by accused persons, including those with complex risks, needs and case histories;
6. The conduct of bail applications out of hours including the role of Bail Justices; and
7. Whether, in relation to out of hours applications, different rules are required for different types of offences.