A more recent version of these Bail And Mode Of Trial notes – written by Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students – is available here.
The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Litigation Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:
Bail and Mode of Trial 1) Bail After the accused has been charged with an offence, the police will either release him on police bail or detain him in police custody to appear before the magistrates when the court next sits. Bail can be defined as the "release of a person subject to a duty to surrender to custody at an appointed time or place". It is governed by the Bail Act 1976. STEP 1: Presumption of bail - s.4 Bail Act 1976: There is a presumption of a right to bail for all Ds prior to conviction (unless charged with serious offence - see below). Exceptions to the right to bail: 1) Defendant charged with rape, murder or manslaughter
* s.25 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 - this will be pretty clear cut o
UNLESS there are exceptional circumstances which justify the bail
STEP 2: Schedule 1 Part 1 Bail Act 1976
* Para 2: D wont be granted bail if the court is satisfied that there are substantial grounds (para 1.3.3) for believing that the defendant would:
Fail to surrender to custody
Commit an offence whilst on bail
Interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice, whether in relation to himself or another
Para 2A: D wont be granted bail if: o
He has committed an indictable/either-way offence AND
He was already on bail
There is no requirement for substantial grounds
STEP 3: Paragraph 9 Bail Act factors In determining whether to refuse a grant of bail, the magistrate will take into account the para 9 factors:
THE NATURE AND SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENCE: o
The more serious the offence the greater the chance of a lengthy imprisonment on conviction so more likely the prisoner will abscond.
The less serious the offence, the more likely the prisoner wont abscond.
THE CHARACTER, RECORD, ASSOCIATIONS AND COMMUNITY TIES OF THE DEFENDANT: o
Weigh up evidence of bad character vs. good character
Previous convictions vs. none
Associate with criminals/co-defendants vs. no such associations
Good community ties can mean having a family, a house, length of time in the area
THE DEFENDANT'S PREVIOUS BAIL RECORD: o
Has he failed to surrender in the past?
THE STRENGTH OF THE EVIDENCE of the defendant committing the offence: o
strong vs. weak prosecution evidence
WOULD THE DEFENDANT COMMIT FURTHER OFFENCES ON BAIL?
Any OTHER FACTORS which are relevant: o
Here look at things like - is he a drug addict - will he need to shoplift to get drugs?
STEP 4: Bail conditions
S.3 Bail Act 1976 provides various conditions that can be attached to the grant of bail. Before attaching a condition, the court must consider that condition to be relevant, proportionate and enforceable.
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