- The Bail Amendment Act 2015 was assented to on 5 November 2015 and will commence on a date appointed by proclamation.
- The Act amends and expands key sections of the Bail Act 2013, including those sections relating to show cause requirements and terrorism offences.
- A number of the amendments were made in response to the Martin Place siege review and events in Parramatta.
The Bail Amendment Act 2015 (the Act) was assented to on 5 November 2015 but at the time of writing is yet to commence. It is interesting to note, however, that Practice Note SC CL 11* (PN) was issued on 4 February 2016 and is to commence on 7 March 2016. The PN specifies very specific procedures and a strict regime which is to be followed if a solicitor is acting for a client wishing to make a release application, or indeed a prosecuting authority wishing to make a detention application. There is also the Bail Regulation 2014 which provides further details of procedure and issues in relation to security.
The Act amends some key sections of the Bail Act 2013 and also includes amendments which are described as ‘in response to Martin Place siege review’ (this is part of the heading to schedule 2 of the Act). The amendments clearly expand the scope of the Bail Act, especially in its consideration of Commonwealth terrorism related offences. Indeed, the Attorney General stated in her Second Reading Speech that ‘[t]he recent events in Parramatta and those that took place in Martin Place last year have reinforced the need for ongoing review and scrutiny of our laws to ensure they remain up to date and are able to respond to terror threats.’