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Monday, 1 May 2017

Law Society still opposes new bail review power

The President of the Law Society of the ACT, Sarah Avery, today expressed the Society’s ongoing concern at the new bail review power for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), which commences operation today.

“The Society continues to strongly oppose the introduction of the discretionary review power, on the basis that the DPP already has the ability to seek a review of a decision to grant bail on certain grounds,” said Ms Avery. “We consider that the review power is inconsistent with basic human rights principles.”

The review power could be used by a prosecutor who simply disagrees with the decision of the court — even when a court, having heard all of the evidence and arguments, decides that bail should be granted. Despite that decision by the court, the prosecutor's objection would mean the accused person is returned to jail for a period of time.

The Society remains concerned that the details of how the review power will operate in practice have not yet been finalised. In addition, the guidelines for the use of the review power promised by the then Attorney-General, Mr Simon Corbell, are yet to be published.

For further information contact:
Ms Sarah Avery, President, ACT Law Society, T 02 6274 0300