Bail: conditions of release

A bail decision-maker 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 can be set at the discretion of the bail decision-maker.

Section 5AAA(4) of the Bail Act contains a list of common bail conditions, but the bail decision-maker is not limited to these conditions and can impose conditions that do not appear in the list.

A bail decision-maker must impose any condition(s) that will reduce the likelihood of an accused person:

endangering the safety and welfare of any person;

committing further offences;

interfering with a witness;

obstructing the course of justice;

failing to attend court while on bail (s 5AAA(1)).

Conduct conditions listed in section 5AAA(4) of the Bail Act 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;

not use drugs or alcohol.

Each condition must be reasonable and no more onerous than is required to achieve its purpose.

Bail conditions remain binding on an accused until the bail is varied or revoked or the charges for which the person is on bail are finally determined (s 5AAA(6)). This means that an accused is still required to comply with bail conditions even in circumstances where they have failed to answer their bail and a court has issued a warrant for their apprehension and made an order forfeiting their undertaking of bail.

It is a criminal offence for an accused person on bail to breach any condition attached to their bail without a reasonable excuse (s 30A(1)). This does not apply to a condition requiring the accused to attend and participate in bail support services. It also does not apply to children.