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Review of Bail Act

27th June 2014

NSW Premier Mike Baird and Attorney General Brad Hazzard have today announced the NSW Government will conduct a review of the new bail laws to ensure the safety of the community, victims and witnesses is at the forefront of all decisions made on bail.

“The new laws were introduced following concerns the old system was overly complicated and not working well,” said Mr Baird.

“The risk-based model was supported by the overwhelming majority of submissions to the Law Reform Commission’s review of bail, including the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), Police and Legal Aid NSW.

“However, the Attorney General and I have become concerned that some recent bail decisions do not reflect the government’s intention to put community safety front and centre.

“With this objective in mind and to provide further assurance to the community, we have asked former Attorney General John Hatzistergos to review the existing laws and consider potential enhancements.

“This will include considering all recent bail decisions and implications of the new Act.

“We have asked Mr Hatzistergos to report back to government with any urgent changes in time for the next sitting of parliament,” Mr Baird said.

Mr Hazzard said community safety must remain paramount in any future changes to the Bail Act.

“The intent of the new laws has always been to protect the community and reduce the risk that an accused person commits an offence, interferes with a witness or fails to attend court. That is what we legislated,” said Mr Hazzard.

“We will ensure that the new Act is applied as the government intended.”