The NSW Government has today given notice in Parliament to introduce, and will seek to pass this week through both houses, two amendments that will further strengthen the state’s bail laws.
The NSW Government is committed to keeping the community safe, and to ensuring that our bail laws remain amongst the toughest in the country.
In a national first, these amendments to the Bail Act 2013 will insert a requirement that any electronic monitoring imposed as a bail condition meet minimum standard prescribed in the regulation. These minimum standards will reflect Corrective Services NSW requirements to ensure robust and consistent standards.
This will signal a clear expectation to providers, the courts and the community about the quality of electronic monitoring and service delivery the Parliament expects if electronic monitoring is imposed as a bail condition, and contribute to improved public confidence in electronic monitoring conditions by supporting improved accountability, transparency and consistency in the quality of services.
The standards themselves will be contained in subordinate legislation, so they can be updated as electronic monitoring technology improves and in line with industry best practice.
The Bill will also include a new requirement that bail must be refused following conviction or a guilty plea and prior to sentencing where the offender will be sentenced to full-time detention, unless special or exceptional circumstances can be established.
Bail exists to keep victims and our community safe before and during a trial, and to protect every person’s right to the presumption of innocence and the general right to be at liberty until they can have their day in court and their matter determined.
Getting our bail laws right is a delicate balancing exercise. Where there are opportunities for improvement, the NSW Government is committed to acting swiftly and decisively, to protect our community and support our frontline services in keeping our community safe, as we are doing this week.