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Bail Act 1976

NCJ Number
Court Volume: 3 Issue: 2 Dated: (Summer 1978) Pages: 48-52
C Mogridge
Date Published
5 pages
Provisions of the British 1976 Bail Act are described.
The Bail Act aims at reducing the size of the inmate population. Major changes are the elimination of personal recognizances to be replaced by the new offense of failing to surrender to custody and the introduction of the presumption that bail will be granted. Section 4 (1) raises the presumption that all unconvicted defendants in criminal proceedings will be granted bail. This presumption is also extended to cover convicted persons brought before a magistrate's court for a breach of a probation or community service order and those whose cases have been adjourned for reports. The act states that all defendants will be granted bail except for those charged with an imprisonable offense unless substantial grounds exist for believing the defendant on bail would not surrender to custody, would commit an offense while on bail, or would interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice; unless the defendant must be detained for his own welfare or protection; or in other circumstances. The grounds for refusing bail to defendants charged with nonimprisonable offenses are more limited. Other aspects of the legislation described involve bail conditions, bail with sureties, failing to surrender, police bail, and legal aid. It is too early yet to determine whether the act has reduced the number of detained defendants. No references are supplied.