||The purpose of this Bill is to address a range of procedural difficulties which have arisen with the operation of the Bail Act 1982. The principal matters dealt with by the Bill are as follows. The Bill -
clarifies the process of bail for persons appearing before the Court in answer to a summons; provides that judicial officers, in addition to their existing authority to grant or refuse bail, will be able to dispense with bail in cases of trivial offending; provides that a defendant who is charged with murder or wilful murder will only be considered for bail where an application has been made by the defendant or their counsel; provides that a decision to refuse release on bail will extend without further consideration for bail where a trial extends beyond one day, unless the defendant or a person on behalf of the defendant applies for bail to be re-considered; broadens the class of persons with powers to approve sureties; clarifies which Court Officer is responsible for instituting proceedings following a defendant's failure to attend at Court in compliance with a bail undertaking; establishes a formal appeal process to the Court of Criminal Appeal for appeals against bail deciion made in the Supreme, District and Children's Court; and
extends the period for an initial appearance in Court from 7 to 30 days, to enable a defendant to appear on their initial appearance before a Magistrate.