Bail or Remand

Bail or Remand


  • Bail refers to the conditional/unconditional release of a person until their case is determined by the courts.
  • Some bail conditions include reporting to the police on a regular basis, forfeiture of passport, and restrictions on where the accused can go and who they can associate with (only for conditional bail).
  • Bail may be granted by an authorised police officer or by the court. If police refuse bail, then the decision for bail is given to the courts
  • The main basis of bail is the type of crime.


  • A special type of detention that allows for a person accused of a serious crime to be held for the period between being charged and facing trial. People held on remand are not convicted criminals and it is therefore important that the amount of time they remain on remand before being tried is as short as possible.
  • Bail is an agreement to attend court to answer a criminal charge. If bail is granted, the defendant is free to go, but must attend court on the day specified. In NSW the law regarding bail is contained in the Bail Act 1978 (NSW).
  • Remand is the term for what happens to the accused when bail is refused. The defendant is remanded in custody.
  • Bail can be granted unconditionally or conditionally. Conditions include: money, report to police station everyday, wear tracker
  • Bail can be granted at any stage during the criminal process eg. after arrest, first court appearance, during any adjournments
  • However under amendments to the Bail Act made in 2007, a defendant cannot make an additional application for bail unless new facts are presented to the court, or the defendant did not have legal representation
  • Bail is or is not granted according to the following:
    • Those accused of minor offences must be granted bail except under unusual circumstances
    • Those accused of serious offences not involving violence or robbery should be granted bail unless good reason
    • Those accused of serious offences involving violence or robbery, there is no presumption in favour of bail
    • Those accused of drug trafficking, murder of involvement with terrorist activity are not eligible for bail unless they can satisfy the judge that is should be granted


Extract from Legal Studies Stage 6 Syllabus. © 2009 Board of Studies NSW.