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Supreme Court Bail Applications

Bail is the conditional released of an accused into the community before their criminal charges have been finalised. Bail can be granted by police or by a court. This article deals with Supreme Court bail applications in New South Wales.

Supreme Court powers

If a person has had bail refused by the Parramatta bail court, central bail court or a Local Court they can apply to the NSW Supreme Court for bail. The Supreme Court alone has the power to grant bail when it has been refused by another court. This power is contained in section 66 of the Bail Act.

Repeat bail applications

Unlike in the Local or District Courts, a person is generally only able to make one application to the Supreme Court for bail. The Supreme Court must refuse to hear repeat bail applications unless the applicant can show that there are grounds for a further bail application.

Acceptable grounds for a second bail application are:

  • The accused was not legally represented when the previous application was dealt with but now has legal representation.
  • The accused is 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 the above grounds is 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, authorised justice or District Court.

Supreme court bail applications are more formal

Applications for bail in the Supreme Court generally take longer to finalise than bail applications in the Local Court. A written application must be filed and a court listing obtained, which generally takes around 14 days.

When making a Supreme Court bail application, information regarding employment, residence and surety needs to be presented in affidavit form or through sworn oral evidence.

It is important to ensure that any person willing to deposit cash or security for the accused’s bail is available and that family and friends are able to attend the court on the date of the bail application as the judge may want to hear evidence from:

  • people the accuse is proposing to live with;
  • people who will put up money or property to secure the accused’s bail;
  • someone who is offering the accused employment.

If the accused is proposing to undertake a rehabilitation program while on bail, the court may also want to hear evidence from somebody from the rehabilitation centre they plan to attend In this situation, the accused will also need a letter from the rehabilitation centre agreeing to accept them and detailing the planned program.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Michelle Makela

This article was written by Michelle Makela

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...

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