Bail in the Magistrates Court: new practice direction

The Magistrates’ Court today released Practice Note 4 of 2011 for bail applications.

This replaces several previous practice directions, and expressly provides for various steps an applicant must take when applying for or varying bail.

Much is unexceptional, aside from fresh applications after bail is refused or revoked. The Direction provides that a fresh application should go before the same magistrate (which is sensible and hard to argue against), but will only be considered by a different magistrate if the original one can’t hear the application within 7 days! Of course that’s not likely to happen often, but when an applicant asserts they have new facts and circumstances, that’s a long time to wait.

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