Bail: Better Informed

AuthorChris Mitchell
Date01 December 1989
Publication Date01 December 1989
for letters in our March
is February 1st
Bail: Better Informed
formation. The court also has a duty
to consider a range of factors prior to
I was extremely disappointed with Mr
reaching their decision, including the
Cameron’s article on Bail Information
character, antecedents, associations and
Schemes: ’The Failure of Reformism’,
community ties of the defendant. This
Pj, June 89. It contributed little to the
is not, as Mr Cameron suggests, oblig-
qui proper debate within the Proba-
ing defendants to ’prove’ a right to
tion Service concerning the potential
liberty, because the Bail decision does
of co-operation with the Crown Pro-
not rest on the onus of proof but on
secution Service and involvement with
the balance of probabilities. The CPS,
defendants pre-trial, being inaccurate
as an independent prosecuting agency,
and misleading. Whilst Mr Cameron
has a vital role to play in this process
rather arrogantly suggests that we
in reviewing the police decision to op-
should seek to remind the judiciary of
pose bail. However, there must be some
the Bail Act, and to educate lawyers in
difficulty in being able to arrive at a
defending their clients’ rights, perhaps
balanced decision if information is on-
he should first seek to educate himself
ly to be provided from one source
in the bail process and the role of Bail
suggests that Bail Of-
Schemes within that process.
ficers are engaged in work that is
Cameron fails to recognise that
unethical and infringes people’s rights.
Bail Schemes are dealing with a very
From the outset Bail Schemes have
high risk group of defendants, i.e. those
been concerned to protect the rights of
have been kept in custody by the
defendants. It is recognised that defen-
police to await their first appearances
dants are interviewed before pleas have
in court. Research studies in the UK,
been entered and often before a
America and New Zealand have
solicitor has been seen. Quite probably
demonstrated that the...

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