ACT Supreme Court Bail Applications

If you or someone you know has had bail refused on two occasions and also had a bail review conducted in the Magistrates Court, you can apply to the Supreme Court for bail. It can take seven to 14 days to get a court date.

Here are some factors to consider:

You Can Usually Only Make One Bail Application

Unlike in the Magistrates Court, you will probably only be able to make one application to the Supreme Court for bail. 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 but you now have legal representation.
  • You are going to present information that is relevant to the grant of bail and that was not presented to the Court in the previous application.
  • Circumstances relevant to the grant of bail 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 as 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
  • if you want to undertake rehabilitation while on bail, somebody from the 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.

The pages on our website are not a substitute for legal or other professional advice. Accessing or obtaining information from this website does not create a client-lawyer relationship.


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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