Bail, Risk and Law Reform: A Review of Bail Legislation across Australia

Lorana BARTELS, Karen Gelb, Caroline Spiranovic, Rick  Sarre, Shannon Dodd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In January 2017, six people were killed and at least 30 injured when Dimitrious Gargasoulas drove his car into pedestrians on Melbourne's Bourke Street mall in an apparently deliberate attack. In the aftermath, community shock turned to outrage when it emerged that Gargasoulas had been released by a Victorian bail justice only days before. Within days, the Victorian Government announced changes to the State's bail system, as well as a major review of Victoria's bail laws, to be undertaken by former Director of Public Prosecutions, Justice Paul Coghlan, currently a judge in the Victorian Court of Appeal. Following the Coghlan review, Victoria's bail laws are arguably the most onerous in Australia. This article presents a discussion of recent reforms to bail laws around Australia. It argues that amendments to bail legislation across the country reflect shifting views on the purposes of bail and the principles underlying the bail system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-107
Number of pages17
JournalCriminal Law Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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