New Bill for Tougher Bail Conditions Introduced to Tasmanian Parliament

Friday 20 July 2018 @ 10.21 a.m. | Crime | Legal Research

A new Bill to limit the number of ways bail can be granted for terrorism offences has been introduced to Tasmania’s House of Assembly.

On 19 June 2018, the Terrorism (Restrictions on Bail and Parole) Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) was introduced to the House of Assembly by the Minister for Justice, the Hon Elise Archer. It proposes to amend the Bail Act 1994 and the Corrections Act 1997. Currently, the Bill is before the House of Assembly where it awaits further discussion.

Background

According to the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum (the “EM”) the bill proposes to make amendments to the Bail Act 1994:

“… including by limiting bail for people who have a conviction for a terrorism offence or who are subject to a control order. People in these categories will only be granted bail by a judge or magistrate if the judge or magistrate is satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances.”

The proposed amendments to the Corrections Act 1997 will involve:

“… limiting parole for people who have a conviction for a terrorism offence, are subject to a control order, or who have promoted a terrorist act. Such people are only to be released on parole if there are exceptional circumstances.”

Brief Overview of the Proposed Changes

Amendments to the Bail Act 1994 include:

  • new s 4A provides for definitions, including defining the term “terrorism-linked person”;
  • new s 4B limits the circumstances in which a terrorism-linked person can be admitted to bail;
  • new s 4C provides powers for police officers to arrest, in certain circumstances, terrorism-linked persons who have been admitted to bail; and
  • new s 4D provides discretionary powers for a judge, magistrate or court to make orders in relation to bail proceedings for a terrorism-linked person, or a person who is alleged to be a terrorism-linked person.

Amendments to the Corrections Act 1997 include:

  • amendment of s 72 by inserting ss (1A) to the Corrections Act 1997 – where ss (1A) provides that the Parole Board must notify the Commissioner of Police at least 7 days before the Board considers whether to release a prisoner on parole;
  • new Division 2A inserted to Part 8; and
  • new s 92A – this section provides the amendments that the Act makes to the Corrections Act 1997 apply to prisoners whether or not the prisoner is released on parole before or after the commencement of the provision.

The Bill also sets out powers of arrest for police officers and provides for additional procedural powers for courts and the Parole Board.

The Consultation Paper

In January 2018, the Tasmanian Department of Justice released a Positions Paper (Reforms to the Tasmanian Bail System – Positions Paper) (the “Paper”) on the bail system in Tasmania, which set out the Government’s proposals for possible reforms to the Tasmania bail system.

The Paper also noted (at pg 9) that:

“The Government has already committed to a presumption against bail rebuttable only in exceptional circumstances where an accused has been convicted of a terrorism offence or is the subject of a control order.”

Comment on the Bill

Commenting on the Bill in her Second Reading Speech, the Minister for Justice said:

“… this Bill is Tasmania’s contribution to nationally consistent reforms to bail and parole laws designed to better protect the community from the threat of terrorism …”

TimeBase is an independent, privately owned Australian legal publisher specialising in the online delivery of accurate, comprehensive and innovative legislation research tools including LawOne and unique Point-in-Time Products. Nothing on this website should be construed as legal advice and does not substitute for the advice of competent legal counsel.

Sources:

Reforms to the Tasmanian Bail System – Positions Paper (Department of Justice, January 2018, Accessed 20 July 2018)

Terrorism (Restrictions on Bail and Parole) Bill 2018 (20 of 2018) [Tas] – Bill and supporting material as available on TimeBase's LawOne Service

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