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.