A police officer or court considering the release of an accused on bail must impose a condition that the accused will surrender into custody at a time and place for the hearing. Additionally, section 5(2) of the Bail Act requires consideration to be given to the three different conditions for release, in the following order:
1 release of the accused person on their own undertaking without any other condition;
2 release of the accused person on their own undertaking with conditions about the conduct of the accused;
3 release of the accused with a surety of stated value or a deposit of stated value, with or without conditions about the conduct of the accused.
Conditions about the conduct of an accused are at the discretion of the decision-maker. Section 5(2A) of the Bail Act contains a list of common bail conditions, but the decision-maker is not limited to these conditions and can impose conditions that do not appear in the list. Conditions listed in section 5(2A) include that the accused report to a police station, reside at a particular address, adhere to a curfew, surrender his or her passport and not drive a motor vehicle.
A condition may only be imposed in order to reduce the likelihood that the accused may:
•fail to attend the time and place of the hearing; or
•commit an offence while on bail; or
•endanger the safety or welfare of the public; or
•interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice.
Each condition must be reasonable and no more onerous than is required to achieve its purpose.
It is an offence to contravene a bail condition in relation to the conduct of the accused without a reasonable excuse (see s 30A(1), the definition of “conduct condition” in ss 3, 5(2A)(k)). This does not apply to a condition requiring the accused to attend and participate in a service provided to assist them to comply with their undertaking.