Judge: Magistrates must doubt 'illegal' bail conditions

A DISTRICT Court judge in Gympie has called for more rigorous assessment of what he said were sometimes unjustified and therefore "illegal" bail conditions.

Judge G Long said it was essential such conditions be justified.

He was hearing a bail application by a defendant subject to a requirement to report at specified intervals to police.

"Why is so much police time taken up with these matters?" he asked, also noting that bail-related matters took up too much District Court time as well.

Told that the conditions sometimes originated with watch house bail, the judge said it was an "obligation of the magistrates courts" to assess police requests for conditions, such as requirements for reporting to police and residing at specified addresses.

He observed that such conditions sometimes seem to be imposed "for no apparent reason."

He revoked the defendant's bail and issued new District Court bail which retained conditions of no contact with the complainant or witnesses, without reporting conditions.

Gympie Times

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