Last updated 29 August 2019

Sections 19B to 19D of the Bail Act 1980 (Qld) (Bail Act) are concerned with the review of certain bail decisions. Under s 19B, either the Crown or the defendant may apply in certain circumstances for a review of a bail decision. A decision by a police officer or a justice who is not a magistrate may be reviewed by a magistrate. Any other decision may be reviewed by a single judge of the Supreme Court. The review mechanism does not apply to decisions of the Supreme Court, a decision about bail made under s 10(2) of the Bail Act (a bail decision during a trial) or a decision by a magistrate acting as a reviewing court. However, it is possible for the defendant or prosecution to review a magistrate’s decision (s 19C Bail Act) with the leave (permission) of the Supreme Court. The review provisions do not limit a person’s right to make successive bail applications, applications against bail conditions or applications for bail under s 19 of the Bail Act following a refusal of bail.

If bail is refused by a magistrate either before or after the committal of a defendant to the relevant court, an application may be made to a single judge of the Supreme Court for bail. Before making such an application, a person should obtain legal advice and assistance. Strictly speaking, this is not an appeal but a fresh application.

After committal proceedings, a defendant in custody may apply for bail to the District Court or the Supreme Court (the court to which they have been committed for trial). A special application for bail may be made to either court at any time.

In R v Hughes [1983] 1 Qd R 92, the Full Court of the Supreme Court reaffirmed the right of an accused person who was refused bail by one judge to apply to another judge. In practical terms, any application to a second or subsequent judge must show some material change in the circumstances surrounding the original application. The finality of a decision by a trial judge under s 10(2) of the Bail Act in relation to a grant of bail to a defendant for the duration of the trial should be noted.