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Bail of Criminal Proceedings
(HKLRC Report)

The Commission's 1989 report proposes reforms to clarify the law on bail, and to set out the law in a clear and consistent code.

The report's key proposal is that there should be a general right to bail for all persons, pending their first appearance, and pending further appearances in the same proceedings. All offences should be bailable, and there should be no offences or classes of persons in respect of which bail could never be granted. This general right to bail would be subject to certain specified exceptions. Bail could be refused, for instance, where the defendant would be likely to abscond, to commit further offences or to interfere with witnesses, or where it has not been practicable to obtain sufficient information to enable the bail decision to be taken. In addition, the report recommended that the bail authority should be able to attach a range of specified bail conditions to any bail granted.

The report also recommends that failure to answer bail should become a criminal offence carrying a maximum penalty of a three-month imprisonment when charged summarily, and twelve months if the failure is dealt with as if it were a contempt of court.

The report's recommendations were implemented by the Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Ordinance in 1994.

Press Release (PDF) (MS Word)
Report (PDF) (MS Word)

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