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Bail Reform in Victoria – Managing Risk

DLS together with ANZOC invite you to a lecture by The Honourable Justice Paul Coghlan.

The Victorian government commissioned Justice Paul Coghlan QC to advise how Victoria’s bail system should be reformed to best manage risk and to maximise community safety.

After reviewing relevant legislation and case law, meeting with key participants in the criminal justice system and receiving public submissions, Justice Coghlan delivered two reports that collectively contained 37 recommendations for reform. The recommendations were broad-ranging and included proposals for alternative methods for dealing with lower level offenders, after-hours remand courts, a review of the role of bail justices and substantive changes to bail law. The Victorian government subsequently announced that it would implement many of these recommendations. In mid-2018, significant legal reforms relating to bail were enacted in Victoria.

In this lecture Justice Coghlan will outline the background to these reforms and describe the recommendations contained in his two Bail Review and Advices to the Victorian Government. He will also summarise the key changes that have been made to the Bail Act 1977, discuss the implications of these changes, both in theory and practice, and conclude by considering the impact of the reforms in the first few months of their operation.

The Honourable Justice Paul Coghlan

Justice Paul Coghlan was admitted to practice in Victoria in 1969 and signed the Bar Roll in 1978. He has held the positions of: Commonwealth Prosecutor, Deputy Crown Solicitors Office; Commonwealth Associate Director of Public Prosecutions; Senior Crown Prosecutor (Major Trials), Chief Crown Prosecutor and Director of Public Prosecutions for Victoria. Justice Coghlan was appointed to the Trial Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2007 and in 2013 was appointed to the Court of Appeal. He retired from that position in 2014 and has been a Reserve Judge since that time, except for a period in 2017 when he completed a review of the Bail Act for the State of Victoria.

Please allow time to pass through security at the Court on arrival. Light refreshments will follow the seminar in the Supreme Court Library.