Bail Act 1976

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1976 c. 63


Bail Act 1976

1976 CHAPTER 63

An Act to make provision in relation to bail in or in connection with criminal proceedings in England and Wales, to make it an offence to agree to indemnify sureties in criminal proceedings, to make provision for legal aid limited to questions of bail in certain cases and for legal aid for persons kept in custody for inquiries or reports, to extend the powers of coroners to grant bail and for connected purposes.

[15 November 1976]

B e it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this Lords Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Preliminary

Preliminary

S-1 Meaning of ‘bail in criminal proceedings’.

1 Meaning of ‘bail in criminal proceedings’.

(1) In this Act ‘bail in criminal proceedings’ means—

( a ) bail grantable in or in connection with proceedings for an offence to a person who is accused or convicted of the offence, or

( b ) bail grantable in connection with an offence to a person who is under arrest for the offence or for whose arrest for the offence a warrant (endorsed for bail) is being issued.

(2) In this Act ‘bail’ means bail grantable under the law (including common law) for the time being in force.

(3) Except as provided by section 13(3) of this Act, this section does not apply to bail in or in connection with proceedings outside England and Wales.

(4) This section does not apply to bail granted before the coming into force of this Act.

(5) This section applies—

( a ) whether the offence was committed in England or Wales or elsewhere, and

( b ) whether it is an offence under the law of England and Wales, or of any other country or territory.

(6) Bail in criminal proceedings shall be granted (and in particular shall be granted unconditionally or conditionally) in accordance with this Act.

S-2 Other definitions.

2 Other definitions.

(1) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, ‘conviction’ includes—

( a ) a finding of guilt,

( b ) a finding that a person is not guilty by reason of insanity,

( c ) a finding under section 26(1) of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (remand for medical examination) that the person in question did the act or made the omission charged, and

( d ) a conviction of an offence for which an order is made placing the offender on probation or discharging him absolutely or conditionally,

and ‘convicted’ shall be construed accordingly.

(2) In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

‘child’ means a person under the age of fourteen,

‘coroners' rules’ means rules made under any provision of the Coroners (Amendment) Act 1926 ,

‘court’ includes a judge of a court, a justice of the peace or a coroner and, in the case of a specified court, includes a judge or (as the case may be) justice having powers to act in connection with proceedings before that court,

‘Courts-Martial Appeal rules’ means rules made under section 49 of the Courts-Martial (Appeals) Act 1968 ,

‘Crown Court rules’ means rules made under section 15 of the Courts Act 1971 ,

‘magistrates' courts rules’ means rules made under section 15 of the Justices of the Peace Act 1949 ,

‘offence’ includes an alleged offence.

‘proceedings against a fugitive offender’ means proceedings under section 9 of the Extradiction Act 1870 , section 7 of the Fugitive Offenders Act 1967 or section 2(1) or 4(3) of the Backing of Warrants (Republic of Ireland) Act 1965 ,

‘Supreme Court rules’ means rules made under section 99 of the Supreme Court of Judicature (Consolidation) Act 1925 ,

‘surrender to custody’ means, in relation to a person released on bail, surrendering himself into the custody of the court or of the constable (according to the requirements of the grant of bail) at the time and place for the time being appointed for him to do so,

‘vary’, in relation to bail, means imposing further conditions after bail is granted, or varying or rescinding conditions,

‘young person’ means a person who has attained the age of fourteen and is under the age of seventeen.

(3) Where an enactment (whenever passed) which relates to bail in criminal proceedings refers to the person bailed appearing before a court it is to be construed unless the context otherwise requires as referring to his surrendering himself into the custody of the court.

(4) Any reference in this Act to any other enactment is a reference thereto as amended, and includes a reference thereto as extended or applied, by or under any other enactment, including this Act.

Incidents of bail in criminal proceedings

Incidents of bail in criminal proceedings

S-3 General provisions.

3 General provisions.

(1) A person granted bail in criminal proceedings shall be under a duty to surrender to custody, and that duty is enforceable in accordance with section 6 of this Act.

(2) No recognizance for his surrender to custody shall be taken from him.

(3) Except as provided by this section—

( a ) no security for his surrender to custody shall be taken from him,

( b ) he shall not be required to provide a surety or sureties for his surrender to custody, and

( c ) no other requirement shall be imposed on him as a condition of bail.

(4) He may be required, before release on bail, to provide a surety or sureties to secure his surrender to custody.

(5) If it appears that he is unlikely to remain in Great Britain until the time appointed for him to surrender to custody, he may be required, before release on bail, to give security for his surrender to custody.

The security may be given by him or on his behalf.

(6) He may be required (but only by a court) to comply, before release on bail or later, with such requirements as appear to the court to be necessary to secure that—

( a ) he surrenders to custody,

( b ) he does not commit an offence while on bail,

( c ) he does not interfere with witnesses or otherwise obstruct the course of justice whether in relation to himself or any other person,

( d ) he makes himself available for the purpose of enabling inquiries or a report to be made to assist the court in dealing with him for the offence.

(7) If a parent or guardian of a child or young person consents to be surety for the child or young person for the purposes of this subsection, the parent or guardian may be required to secure that the child or young person complies with any requirement imposed on him by virtue of subsection (6) above, but—

( a ) no requirement shall be imposed on the parent or the guardian of a young person by virtue of this subsection where it appears that the young person will attain the age of seventeen before the time to be appointed for him to surrender to custody; and

( b ) the parent or guardian shall not be required to secure compliance with any requirement to which his consent does not extend and shall not, in respect of those requirements to which his consent does extend, be bound in a sum greater than 50.

(8) Where a court has granted bail in criminal proceedings it may on application—

( a ) by or on behalf of the person to whom it was granted, or

( b ) by the prosecutor or a constable,

vary the conditions of bail or impose conditions in respect of bail which it has granted unconditionally.

(9) This section is subject to subsection (3) of section 26 of the Magistrates' Courts Act 1952 (conditions of bail on remand for medical examination).

Bail for accused persons and others

Bail for accused persons and others

S-4 General right to bail of accused persons and others.

4 General right to bail of accused persons and others.

(1) A person to whom this section applies shall be granted bail except as provided in Schedule 1 to this Act.

(2) This section applies to a person who is accused of an offence when—

( a ) he appears or is brought before a magistrates' court or the Crown Court in the course of or in connection with proceedings for the offence, or

( b ) he applies to a court for bail in connection with the proceedings.

This subsection does not apply as respects proceedings on or against a person's conviction of the offence or proceedings against a fugitive...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT