Sentencing Council

Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice.  Find out more >

Bail - Additional show cause offences

The Attorney General asked the Sentencing Council to consider proposals to make amendments to the Bail Act 2013. In September 2014 Parliament passed the Bail Amendment Bill 2014, which introduced categories of offences for which bail must be refused unless an accused can ‘show cause’ why his or her detention is not justified.


The Council provided the Attorney General with a report, which was released on 28 August 2015: Bail: Additional show cause offences - Final Report [PDF, 342KB]


The call for submissions closed on 31 October 2014. Visit the submissions page to view the submissions received by the Council.

Terms of reference

The Council was asked to consider suggested additions to the categories of offences for which the accused must ‘show cause’ before bail can be granted, specifically, where an accused person is charged with a serious indictable offence committed:

while subject to a good behaviour bond, intervention program order, intensive correction order; or

while serving a sentence in the community; or

while in custody.

As part of this review, the Council considered:

the extent to which concerns raised by these offences can be mitigated by the existing unacceptable risk test and show cause categories in the Bill

the expected impact of expanding show cause requirements to these offences

taking into account the above, whether there is a need to create a new show cause category for the offences; and if so what the appropriate limitations on this category should be in terms of:

  1. the type of offences it applies to; and
  2. the type of conditional liberty (or custody) that should trigger the show cause requirement, if an offence is committed.​

In addition, the Council has been asked to undertake an ongoing role in monitoring and reviewing the show cause categories. In particular, the Attorney asked that the Council consider expanding the definition of serious personal violence offence in section 16B of the Bail Act 2013 to include offences under the law of the Commonwealth, another State or a Territory or of another country that are similar to the defined serious personal violence offences in NSW.

The Attorney also asked the Council to consider the breadth of the show cause requirement applying to all serious indictable offences committed while on bail.

Background Material

The Bail Amendment Bill 2014                                                

The Review of the Bail Act 2013 undertaken by Mr John Hatzistergos

The NSW Law Reform Commission's 2012 report on Bail 


 Download a copy of the Report titled Bail: Additional show cause offences​ ​
Bail: Additional Show Cause Offences