In November 2004, the Commission was asked to review the practice and law of the Bail Act 1977 (Vic). This followed the Commission’s community law reform inquiry into failure to appear in court in response to bail. In November 2005, the Commission released a consultation paper and a targeted booklet for victims of crime. Forty-nine submissions were received.
The Commission's final report was tabled in Parliament on 10 October 2007. It made 157 recommendations aimed at ensuring the Act functions simply, clearly and fairly. Major recommendations included:
- the Bail Act be rewritten in plain English
- removing the requirement in relation to some offences that an person must convince the court that they should get bail and making the sole test for bail whether the person poses an unacceptable risk to the community
- a requirement that bail conditions be no more onerous than necessary and reasonable and are realistic taking into account the circumstances of the individual
- greater consideration of the victims of crime.
The Explanatory Memoranda to the Bail Amendment Bill stated: "The Bail Amendment Bill 2010 (the Bill) amends the Bail Act 1977 and the Magistrates' Court Act 1989, and follows on from the Victorian Law Reform Commission's (VLRC) Review of the Bail Act: Final Report (2007)...The Government is responding to the VLRC recommendations in two stages. The Bill responds to 40 recommendations and represents the first stage of reforms to Victoria's bail system. Broadly, the aims of the Bill are to clarify aspects of current bail law, codify some existing practices, and promote efficiencies in the operation of the bail system. The Bill also establishes a new legislative framework for the operation of the bail justice system."