ON 5 AUGUST 2014, the NSW Premier and Attorney General announced changes to the Bail Act 2013 (NSW) following a review by former Attorney General, John Hatzistergos.
The changes will be introduced during the current session of parliament and will include:
- Bail will be refused to an accused assessed to be an “unacceptable risk”.
- Those accused of serious offences will bear the onus to “show cause”.
- Bail assessment will include new risk factors including organised crime associations of the accused, victims’ safety concerns the accused’s history on bail or parole.
- The common law presumption of innocence will be supplemented with other considerations such as protection of the community and protecting the integrity of the justice system.
- The existence of the new Bail Act is not a “change of circumstances” to trigger a review of earlier bail decisions.
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