Bail Act Monitoring Group Reports

Today I released recommendations by the Bail Act Monitoring Group (BAMG) and sought the NSW Law Reform Commission’s advice on three of those recommendations.

In November 2021, I requested the BAMG review eight decisions and to advise on what, if any, reforms to the Bail Act 2013 might be necessary or appropriate.

I received the BAMG’s final report on 28 July 2022. The BAMG made six recommendations.

Three of the BAMG’s recommendations relate to giving further consideration to expanding the list of ‘show cause’ offences concerning firearms and criminal associations.

If a person is charged with a ‘show cause’ offence, police and the courts must refuse bail unless the accused ‘shows cause’ why their detention is not justified.

Show cause offences are set out in section 16B of the Bail Act 2013. They already include an offence punishable by life imprisonment and serious indictable offences involving the use of a firearm, amongst others.

I have asked the NSW Law Reform Commission to review and report on the discrete aspects of the Bail Act 2013 identified by the BAMG for further consideration. I anticipate receiving the Commission’s report in time for any legislative response to occur this year.

There is no formal requirement for the NSW Government to release the BAMG’s report. I have decided nevertheless to table the BAMG’s executive summary and recommendations because it is important that our community and the Parliament can see how the State’s bail laws are operating in practice. The body of the final report has not been released at this time as, among other things, it contains sensitive operational details.

I thank the BAMG for its work on this report over the last nine months. The BAMG comprises representatives from the courts, Legal Aid NSW, the NSW Police Force, Corrective Services NSW, the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT), the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Department of Communities and Justice and the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Attached with media release: Executive summary and recommendations of the BAMG final report and the terms of reference for the Law Reform Commission review.

Download media release: Bail Act Monitoring Group Reports (PDF , 2.7 MB)

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