Bail decision making by the police and the courts is a contentious and divisive issue that affects many members of the community. Bail decisions in relation to both adults and children affect not only accused persons but also family members, victims, potential victims and the wider community. A Consultation Paper on the reform of bail law and practice in Northern Ireland was launched on 30 September 2010 by the Northern Ireland Law Commission.
The Bail project is the Commission’s first criminal justice project and offers an opportunity to all persons in Northern Ireland to influence the development of the law in this jurisdiction. This consultation on bail law and practice is particularly timely in light of the recent transfer of policing and justice powers to the Northern Ireland Assembly.
In the Consultation Paper, consultees are invited to consider over 50 specific questions relating to reform of bail law and practice in Northern Ireland. Topics considered include the grounds for the refusal of bail, bail decision making, bail conditions, breach of bail, bail monitoring and support and the role of victims.
Views must be submitted to the Commission by Monday 31 January 2011.