New South Wales

Aug 7, 2014

Government on the run: NSW playing hot potato with Bail Act changes

Changes to the NSW Bail Act announced yesterday show a government embracing bad law in the context of bad governance, writes solicitor Hannah Quadrio.

Academics will call it penal popularism or popular punitivism. A simpler description is: government on the run. Whatever you call it, the New South Wales government’s announcement on Tuesday of plans to again amend the Bail Act shows a government embracing bad law and doing so in the context of bad governance.

The NSW Bail Act was first introduced by Labor attorney-general Frank Walker in 1978. For more than three decades, NSW Parliament chopped and changed it to the point where it was unrecognisable. The multitude of amendments had created what the NSW Law Reform Commission called “one of the most convoluted and restrictive bail statutes in Australia”. It was almost impossible to comprehend, even for lawyers.

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One thought on “Government on the run: NSW playing hot potato with Bail Act changes

  1. DaveinPerth

    Will the new bail provisions apply to NSW LNP MP’s?

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