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Key developments

  • Administrative review of the Bail Act 2013
  • Law Council Draft Principles for a Federal Judicial Commission
  • Inquiry into the high level of First Nations people in custody and oversight and review of deaths in custody
  • Inquiry into the reputational impact on an individual being adversely named in the ICAC’s investigations
  • Inquiry into the impact of technological and other change on the future of work and workers in NSW
  • Inquiry into assaults on members of the NSW Police Force
  • Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) 
  • Proposed Natural Disasters Clause
  • Inquiry into the destruction of 46,000 year old caves at Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia
  • Major Reforms to the Foreign Investment Review Framework
  • Draft State Strategy for Crown Land
  • Anti-Discrimination Amendment (Religious Freedoms and Equality) Bill 2020
  • South Australian Law Reform Institute Powers of Attorney reference
  • Flood Prone Land Package
  • Review of Infrastructure Contributions in NSW – Issues Paper
  • Centrelink Clearance Recovery Notices delays
  • Draft Indigenous Evaluation Strategy

Administrative review of the Bail Act 2013

The Criminal Law, Children’s Legal Issues and Indigenous Issues Committees contributed to a submission to the review of the Bail Act 2013. The Law Society expressed its concern about the high and growing remand population in NSW, and the significant work that needs to be done to reduce the remand population through both legislative and non-legislative reform. Such work has become more of an imperative as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has highlighted the potential impacts to both individuals and the broader community of prison overcrowding. We noted that the pandemic is both a catalyst and an opportunity for wholesale change to the criminal justice system, including bail processes as the entry point to that system.

The submission focused on priority areas for legislative reform, including amendments relating to bail applications and actions for breaches, as well as detailed comments on a proposed new division specifically related to bail and children. In relation to non-legislative reform, we supported the investment in, and implementation of, practical measures to provide support for defendants in the community and assist with compliance with bail conditions to reduce the number of technical breaches.

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