This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

ACT Supreme Court Bail Applications


If you or someone you know has had bail refused twice, and has had a bail review conducted in the Magistrates Court, you can apply to the Supreme Court to review the decision. The Supreme Court will need to be satisfied there has been a change in circumstances since the decision or there is fresh evidence or information relevant to the decision. It can take seven to 14 days to get a court date.

Here are some factors to consider:

You Can Usually Make Only One Bail Application

Unlike in the Magistrates Court, you will probably be able to make only one bail application to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court must refuse to hear repeat bail applications unless you can show that there are grounds for a further application. Acceptable grounds are:

  • you were not legally represented when the previous application was dealt with and you now have legal representation;
  • you have relevant information that was not presented to the court in the previous application;
  • circumstances have changed since the previous application.

However, even if one or more of these grounds are made out, the Supreme Court may refuse to hear a repeat bail application if the application is deemed to be “frivolous or vexatious”. The Supreme Court may also refuse to hear an application to have bail conditions reviewed if that review could be dealt with by a magistrate or an authorised officer.

Supreme Court Bail Applications Involve A More Formal Process

Information regarding employment, residence and surety needs to be presented in affidavit form (a formal sworn statement of fact) or through sworn oral evidence. It is important to ensure that any person willing to deposit cash or security is available, and that family and friends are able to attend the court on the date of your bail application because the judge may want to hear evidence from:

  • people you might live with;
  • people who will put up money or property to secure your bail;
  • someone who may offer you employment; and/or
  • somebody from a rehabilitation centre you plan to attend. In this situation, you will also need a letter from a rehabilitation centre agreeing to accept you and detailing your planned program.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

WHERE TO NEXT?

If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.

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