Bail Bill 2021 - Have your say

The Tasmanian Government is committed to ensuring that public consultation processes are open and transparent and we are seeking your input on the proposed Bail Bill 2021.

Bail Bill 2021

During the 2018 election campaign, the Liberal Party released the policy document “Keeping Tasmanians Safe”. This policy included a commitment to bail law reform.

Tasmania’s Bail Act 1994 (the Bail Act) is largely procedural. The granting, or refusal, of bail within this State is decided largely on the basis of the common law. All other Australian jurisdictions have statutorily modified the common law on bail.

A Position Paper was developed and released on 1 January 2018 for public consultation. Material for the Position Paper was gathered from a number of sources, particularly the Victorian Law Reform Commission - Review of the Bail Act – Final Report; the New South Wales Law Reform Commission - Report 133 – Bail; and the Hon Paul Coghlan QC’s Bail Review: First Advice to the Victorian Government and Bail Review: Second Advice to the Victorian Government.

The Position Paper contained fifteen proposals for reform of bail in the State and were, generally, supported by key stakeholders. These proposals form the basis of the draft Bill.

The draft Bill seeks to be the primary and almost comprehensive reference on the law on bail in Tasmania. The Bill has incorporated much of the existing common law into statute and brings bail provisions from other legislation across to make the law around bail clearer and easier to navigate.

Some of the key features of the new Bill include

  • A general purpose clause
  • A reversal of the presumption for bail for specific offences and subject to specific criteria unless the accused can demonstrate “exceptional circumstances”
  • A non-exhaustive list of relevant considerations that a grantor of bail is to take into account when assessing whether a person poses an “unacceptable risk” and therefore should not be granted bail
  • Clarification of the powers and responsibilities of police in relation to bail
  • A non-exhaustive list of conditions that might be imposed on an accused who is admitted to bail
  • A provision that the imposition of conditions must not be more onerous than necessary and must be reasonable, having regard to the nature of the alleged offence and circumstances of the accused person

The necessary transitional and consequential provisions will be included in the Bill prior to finalisation.

Download the draft Bill: Bail Bill 2021 (PDF, 234.5 KB)

Publishing submissions

Other than indicated below, submissions will be treated as public information and will be published on the Department of Justice website.

No personal information other than an individual’s name or the organisation making a submission will be published.

For further information, please read the Tasmanian Government Public Submissions Policy (external link).

Important information to note

  1. Your name (or the name of the organisation) will be published unless you request otherwise.
  2. In the absence of a clear indication that a submission is intended to be treated as confidential (or parts of the submission), the Department will treat the submission as public.
  3. If you would like your submission treated as confidential, whether in whole or in part, please indicate this in writing at the time of making your submission clearly identifying the parts of your submission you want to remain confidential and the reasons why. In this case, your submission will not be published to the extent of that request.
  4. Copyright in submissions remains with the author(s), not with the Tasmanian Government.
  5. The Department will not publish, in whole or in part, submissions containing defamatory or offensive material. If your submission includes information that could enable the identification of other individuals then either all or parts of the submission will not be published.

Accessibility of submissions

The Government recognises that not all individuals or groups are equally placed to access and understand information. We are therefore committed to ensuring Government information is accessible and easily understood by people with diverse communication needs.

Where possible, please consider typing your submission in plain English and providing it in a format such as Microsoft Word or equivalent.

The Government cannot however take responsibility for the accessibility of documents provided by third parties.

Information provided to the Government may be provided to an applicant under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2009 (RTI). If you have indicated that you wish all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential, your statement detailing the reasons may be taken into account in determining whether or not to release the information in the event of an RTI application for assessed disclosure. You may also be contacted to provide any further comment.