Conditions of release on bail

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 the 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;

live at a particular address;

adhere to a curfew;

surrender his or her passport;

not attend certain places or areas;

comply with conditions of an intervention order;

attend bail support services;

not contact specified people, or a class of people (e.g. witnesses or co-accused);

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 a criminal 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.