Sentencing Trends & Issues No 47 — Navigating the Bail Act 2013

Georgia Brignell, Principal Research Officer (Legal)
Amanda Jamieson, Senior Research Officer (Legal)

Pierrette Mizzi, Director, Research and Sentencing
Anne Murphy, Senior Editor (Legal)

Judicial officers make important decisions concerning bail every day — on multiple occasions in the one day in the context of busy and varied court lists. The statutory provisions governing bail are complex and require a considered and careful approach.

The aim of this Sentencing Trends and Issues paper is to provide judicial officers and legal practitioners with a concise guide to the bail process and to supplement the content in the Local Court Bench Book. It discusses the relevant legislative provisions and summarises the relevant legal principles distilled from the case law.

Bail decisions generally do not have precedential value because each involves an evaluative judgment based on a multitude of factors in an individual case: see DPP (NSW) v Zaiter [2016] NSWCCA 247 at [31]–[32]. The discussion of different factors relevant to the question of bail in this Trends is intended to provide examples of factors that may influence a particular decision, not to provide a definitive predictor of the outcome.