Last updated 27 August 2019. This chapter is currently under review
Right to Apply for Bail
Procedure for Obtaining Bail
Criteria for Granting Bail
Sureties in Bail Applications
Breach of Bail Undertaking
Appeal Against Refusal of Bail
If a person is charged with any criminal offence they may be taken into custody, either at a police station or, before the charge is heard, in a court. After the defendant (the person against whom the charge has been laid) is taken into custody, a decision is made about their release on bail.
Bail is a written undertaking in the nature of a promise or agreement to appear in court when required to do so. There may be certain conditions imposed on the grant of bail to a defendant. An example is payment of money by the defendant or the requirement that another person (a surety) guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court by agreeing to forfeit a sum of money if the defendant does not comply with any of the bail conditions. Other conditions may also be attached to a grant of bail (e.g. reporting to the police and staying away from witnesses). If a defendant is granted bail, they are free to leave the police station or courthouse and do not have to remain in custody until the hearing of the charge. However, bail can be varied or withdrawn at any stage by the court.