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Outline the main provisions for he Bail Act 1976 (as amended).

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Annie Fish a) Outline the main provisions for he Bail Act 1976 ( as amended) Once a person has been deprived of their liberty, the question arises (under PACE s47) whether they should be detained. They may be released on bail before a trial or before committal for trial by the police or by the magistrates or by the Crown Court. Bail is extremely important to a suspect. Apart from the obvious unpleasantness of being locked up, the suspect may become unemployed and will find it difficult to consult with lawyers and prepare an adequate defence. The refusal of bail can have a significant effect on the case. Research suggests that suspects detained in custody pending trial are more likely to plead guilty, to be convicted, and to be imprisoned than suspects who were granted bail. Under section 4 of the Bail Act of 1976 there is now a assumption that an accused person should be granted bail. Both the Bail Act of 1976 and the Human Rights Convention state that a defendant has the right to bail. This is true in the majority of circumstances, though this is limited for certain cases. The exceptions are: * Where a person is charged with treason * Where a defendant has been convicted and a custodial sentence person is appealing to the Crown Court or the High Court. ...read more.


These are similar to conditions which can be set by the police and may include the surrender of passport and / or reporting to a police station. The court can also make a condition as to where the accused must reside while on bail - this could be at the home address or at a bail hostel. The court (and the police) can require a surety for bail. Another person promises to pay the court a certain sum of money if the defendant fails to attend court. The magistrates' court not only deal with bail from the time of first appearance but may confirm, vary or remove conditions of police bail or remand a defendant in custody. The Bail (Amendment )Act 1993 gave the prosecution the right to appeal to a judge at the Crown Court against the granting of bail provided : * The offence charged carries a maximum sentence of at least 5 years imprisonment, or is the offence of taking a conveyance without consent * The prosecution objected to bail * The prosecution give immediate verbal notice of the interaction to appeal followed by a written notice to the magistrates within 2 hours. The criminal justice and Public order Act s 26 amended the Bail Act so that the presumption in favour of bail is removed where it appears that the defendant has committed a triable either way offence or an indictable offence, while already on bail for another offence (However, the court can still grant bail). ...read more.


against the needs of the public to be protected from potentially dangerous criminals. Many people think that more defendants could be safely released into the community pending trial. In 1994, 23% of defendants remanded in custody at some stage were acquitted (or their case was not proceeded with) and a further 34% ultimately received a non-custodial sentence. There is growing evidence that magistrates are increasingly less likely to 'rubber stamp' objections to bail. A Home office survey suggested that about 10% of those on bail commit further offences during the bail period (known as Bail bandits). The changes made by the Bail (Amendment) Act of 1993 and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 are attempts to keep the balance between defendants civil rights and the protection of the public. For defendants who are homeless and have no fixed address bail hostels run by the probation service provide some degree of supervision for defendants who would otherwise have no bail. 'Electronic tagging' with curfew orders are now being used more often as a condition of bail. At a time of prison overcrowding it is now very important that something is done for practical and for moral reasons to keep people out of prison. About 20% of people in our prisons are defendants who have not been tried, but are remanded in custody. They will not be entitled to any compensation for their time they have spent in prison. ...read more.

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