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NSW Government to end registrars making bail decisions, brings more magistrates on board

The Lismore App

09 June 2024, 10:00 PM

NSW Government to end registrars making bail decisions, brings more magistrates on board

The NSW Labor Government will ensure all bail decisions are made by magistrates, as part of its domestic violence response package.

 

This builds on the Government’s commitment last month to ensure magistrates oversee weekend bail hearings, as the Government provides more information around implementation following further detailed work by the Department of Communities and Justice.  

 

The Government will invest $34 million over four years, including employing up to six additional magistrates, along with additional costs to be incurred by NSW Police and Legal Aid.

 


It also includes specialist domestic and family violence training for magistrates and court staff, costs associated with evaluation, and capital funding to ensure audio-visual link facilities are available to support remote bail hearings.

 

The implementation of the legislation will commence on proclamation in coming months and is being funded from the $45 million announced as part of the Government’s $230 million emergency domestic violence response package.

 

The Government chose to make this change through an amendment in its domestic violence bail legislation, giving certainty to the Parliament and the community.

 


Overall, the Government’s domestic, family and sexual violence bail reforms will make it more difficult for those accused of serious domestic violence offences to get bail.

 

This strengthening of bail laws will expand the show cause test to coercive control and serious domestic violence offences committed against intimate partners, and will require electronic monitoring for alleged serious domestic violence offenders granted bail.

 

The reforms expand the categories of offences for which bail decisions can be ‘stayed’, while also requiring bail decision-makers to consider domestic abuse risk factors, and to consider the views of victims and their family members.

 


Attorney General Michael Daley said, “Registrars have an important place in the administration of the courts but there is now a community expectation that our magistrates are best placed to make these decisions in what are often very difficult circumstances.

 

“This is one part of a multi-faceted response by the Government to improve our response to domestic, family and sexual violence.”

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