In November 2004, the Commission was asked to review the practice and law of the Bail Act 1977 (Vic). This followed the Commission’s community law reform inquiry into failure to appear in court in response to bail. In November 2005, the Commission released a consultation paper and a targeted booklet for victims of crime. Forty-nine submissions were received.

The Commission's final report was tabled in Parliament on 10 October 2007. It made 157 recommendations aimed at ensuring the Act functions simply, clearly and fairly. Major recommendations included:

  • the Bail Act be rewritten in plain English
  • removing the requirement in relation to some offences that an person must convince the court that they should get bail and making the sole test for bail whether the person poses an unacceptable risk to the community
  • a requirement that bail conditions be no more onerous than necessary and reasonable and are realistic taking into account the circumstances of the individual
  • greater consideration of the victims of crime.


Many of the Commission’s recommendations were implemented through amendments to the Bail Act 1977 made by the Bail Amendment Act 2010

The Explanatory Memoranda to the Bail Amendment Bill stated: "The Bail Amendment Bill 2010 (the Bill) amends the Bail Act 1977 and the Magistrates' Court Act 1989, and follows on from the Victorian Law Reform Commission's (VLRC) Review of the Bail Act: Final Report (2007)...The Government is responding to the VLRC recommendations in two stages. The Bill responds to 40 recommendations and represents the first stage of reforms to Victoria's bail system. Broadly, the aims of the Bill are to clarify aspects of current bail law, codify some existing practices, and promote efficiencies in the operation of the bail system. The Bill also establishes a new legislative framework for the operation of the bail justice system."


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Project Publications

Bail Act: Final Report

The final report of the Commission's review of the Bail Act was launched in October 2007. The report makes 157 recommendations to ensure the Act...

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Bail Act: Final Report Summary

This summary provides a concise, plain English overview of the Commission's Review of the Bail Act: Final Report.  A PDF of the summary can be...

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Bail - Recommendations

1. The Bail Act 1977 should be repealed. The Act and its Regulations should be rewritten and replaced by a new principal Act and new regulations...

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Bail Act: Consultation Paper

The Review of the Bail Act: Consultation Paper reviews the Bail Act and the processes and procedures that surround bail when considered by police,...

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Review of the Bail Act: Terms of Reference

To review the provisions of the Bail Act 1977 and its practical operation in order to ensure that it is consistent with the overall objectives of the...

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