Submission to Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee - Bail Amendment Bill 2013 - May 2013

A Bill introduced into Victorian Parliament on 16 April 2013 amending the Bail Act 1977 will introduce a list of "commonly imposed" conditions which can be applied to accused people seeking bail, such as surrendering a passport, regularly reporting to a police station, residing at a particular address or geographical exclusion zones in which the person is not allowed to enter. The Bill also creates two new offences - for contravening certain bail conditions and for committing an indictable offence whilst on bail.

The Commission has submitted to the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee that it may wish to seek further information from the Attorney General about the compatibility of the Bill with the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (Charter). In particular, the Commission submitted that further information could be sought about whether there are less restrictive means reasonably available to achieve the purpose of the limitation (under section 7(2) of the Charter), in respect of geographical exclusion zones as a bail condition; or whether the new offence provisions in the Bill engage and reasonably limit:

  • the right to equality before the law, specifically in relation to people with disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities, mental health issues or drug addiction; or
  • the right to presumption of innocence; or
  • the right not to be tried or punished for the same offence twice.
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