One of the functions of the Victorian Law Reform Commission is to examine any matter that the Commission considers raises relatively minor legal issues that are of general community concern.
This Paper examines and makes a recommendation in relation to a relatively minor legal issue arising under the Bail Act 1977 which was brought to our attention by the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service. The issue arises when a person who has been charged with a criminal offence is released on bail for the period until their court hearing and fails to appear at the court hearing. The court will issue a warrant for the police to arrest the person and bring them to court. Under the Bail Act 1977, the person will be held in custody until the court hears their charge. The person can only be released on bail again if they satisfy certain tests. The issue examined in this Paper is whether these tests are appropriate and whether they should be changed.