Last updated 7 August 2017

The general principle that detention should be the last resort is relevant to bail as well as sentence.

The Bail Act 1980 (Qld) (Bail Act) also applies in relation to bail decisions for children in court. A court must take into account the sentence order the court would likely make if the child was to be found guilty (s 48(3A) Youth Justice Act 1992 (Qld)) when deciding bail.

Where a child’s legal representative has instructions to make a bail application, they should liaise with the youth justice officer who may:

  • ascertain the child’s present circumstances so far as they are relevant to bail
  • if necessary, investigate suitable placement options including a parental home
  • organise a placement acceptable to the court.

If the child is released without bail they must be given a release notice stating the time and place of their next court appearance with a warning that the court may issue a warrant for their immediate arrest if the child does not turn up.

If the child is released on bail and promises to come back to court as directed but does not come to court, the court may issue a warrant for their arrest but no offence is committed (unlike the adult court).

If the child is released on bail with conditions and breaches a bail condition, their bail may be revoked but breaching the condition is not in itself a further offence.

If a magistrate refuses bail, the child may apply for bail to a Childrens Court judge. A child can also apply for bail directly to the judge if an application was not made to the magistrate.

Review and variation of bail

A child who is subject to bail with conditions is able to ask for a variation of those conditions if there are grounds to change the conditions (e.g. variation of a curfew to accommodate work commitments). A request for variation of conditions would usually require the young person’s legal representative to provide advance notice to the police before the court date when it is to happen, so the police may consider their position to the proposed change.

Show cause situation

The ‘show cause’ provisions of the Bail Act do not apply to a child (s 16(5) Bail Act). The court is, however, able to consider any previous grants of bail in determining if bail should be granted.