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Justice Coghlan to address members on new Bail Act reforms

Justice Coghlan to address members on new Bail Act reforms

By LIV

Courts Criminal Procedure 

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Following the Bourke Street tragedy in January 2017, The Honourable Justice Paul Coghlan QC was asked to advise the government on how Victoria’s bail system should be reformed to best manage risk and to maximise community safety.

The result was two comprehensive reports outlining a number of recommendations for legislative reform which shaped the Bail Amendment (Stage One) Act 2017 and the Bail Amendment (Stage Two) Act 2018. These Acts both amend the Bail Act 1977 so that decisionmakers, including magistrates and judges, will place a higher priority on community safety when making bail decisions.

But what does that mean for you?

Four key changes have been made to the Bail Act:

1. The “show cause” test has been replaced by a new “compelling reason” test.

2. A Schedule 1 list of offences, which require an accused to show “exceptional circumstances”, has been introduced and so has a Schedule 2 list of offences, which require an accused to show "compelling reason” why detention in custody is not justified.

3. Offences in Schedule 2, include family violence offences, causing serious injury offences (under the Crimes Act 1985) and driving offences (under the Crimes Act 1958).

4. There are also circumstances when an alleged Schedule 2 offence becomes a Schedule 1 offence, therefore requiring the accused to establish “exceptional circumstances”. It is imperative that criminal lawyers are abreast of these changes and aware of the practical implications – specifically the arguably higher threshold these new tests require.

The Honourable Justice Paul Coghlan is addressing members on these important changes at our Breakfast with the Experts – Bail Act Reforms on Thursday 21 June 7.30am – 9am.

His Honour will be joined by David Tedhams, Senior Research Manager from the Judicial College of Victoria to provide attendees with a comprehensive summary of the key changes to this important piece of legislation and the implications these changes will have on your day to day practice.

Click here for more information and to register your attendance.


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