New bail laws for domestic violence abusers in New South Wales

O'Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors


O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors defend people against criminal charges anywhere in Australia, as well as litigating defamation cases, and suing police and other authorities for unlawful conduct. We are a strong advocate for social justice issues and pride ourselves on our pro-bono practice. We are a growing and dynamic law firm that occasionally has vacancies for people seeking legal careers or administrative opportunities.
New NSW bail laws for domestic violence abusers aim to make it more difficult for alleged abusers to get bail.
Australia Criminal Law
To print this article, all you need is to be registered or login on

Recently, the NSW government have introduced new bail laws for domestic violence abusers. These changes aim to make it harder for alleged abusers to get bail.

Also, the new laws reverse the presumption of bail for those charged with serious offenses that carry a maximum penalty of 14 years or more in jail. Now, people charged with domestic violence offenses must now show why they should not be detained until the case is settled. These offences include chocking to cause someone to lose consciousness, kidnapping and sexual assault.

If released on bail, some alleged domestic violence offenders in this category will be electronically monitored unless the bail authority finds good reasons not to apply this condition.

Will the new bail laws for domestic abusers help protect victims?

New Bail laws for domestic abusers in NSW

The bail provision will also apply to coercive control, which will become a criminal offense from July 1. Under the reforms, magistrates and judges will now make all bail decisions, instead of registrars.

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Jodie Harrison, explained that the reforms complement other measures to improve prevention and support.

"Domestic, family, and sexual violence is preventable, and we continue to look for ways to better support the safety of women and children," she said.

Attorney General Michael Daley said the changes to the bail framework are a crucial step in addressing domestic violence in NSW. He also stated;

"This is not a criticism of registrars, who perform important work for their communities."

Click here to read how to make a bail application.

The key points regarding the new domestic violence bail laws in NSW are:

  • People charged with serious domestic violence offences carrying a maximum 14+ year sentence (e.g. sexual assault, kidnapping, strangulation) will now have to "show cause." Meaning they need to explain why they should not be detained until their case is determined, reversing the presumption of bail.
  • If granted bail, these accused offenders will be subject to electronic monitoring, unless the bail authority finds sufficient reasons not to impose this condition.
  • The "show cause" provision will also apply to the new coercive control offence from July 1,
  • Funding will be provided for audio-visual link facilities to support remote bail hearings.
  • The reforms aim to better support victim safety and complement the government's $230 million domestic violence prevention and support package.
  • The new laws also strengthen the unacceptable risk test stated in the Bail Act. Now, before granting bail, a magistrate or judge must consider:1: Any 'red flag' behaviour that might constitute domestic abuse. For example, any violent, sexually abusive, coercive acts. In addition, stalking, animal cruelty, verbal abuse or intimidation. 2: The victim and/or their families opinion on their safety concerns.

Electronic monitoring: effective for those charged with domestic violence?

Electronic monitoring can be an effective tool in preventing domestic violence, but it has limitations and should be used in conjunction with other measures.

Reduces Reoffending and Breaches

  • A study by the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research found that domestic violence offenders fitted with electronic ankle monitors were 32.9% less likely to commit a new domestic violence offence and 19.4% less likely to breach an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order over 12 months compared to a control group.
  • The deterrent effect of being monitored 24/7 and the increased likelihood of detection are thought to contribute to these reductions in reoffending.

Complements Case Management

Electronic monitoring allows better monitoring of offender movements and compliance with conditions like non-contact orders and exclusion zones. For example, it can augment case management efforts to address criminogenic needs and reinforce pro-social behaviors through increased supervision and accountability. However, it is not a complete solution on its own and should be combined with other interventions like counseling and behavior change programs to address the root causes of domestic violence.

Implementation changes: considerations for new bail laws for domestic violence abusers

Rapidly escalating risk profiles of domestic violence perpetrators make it challenging to set appropriate monitoring parameters and response protocols. Therefore, ensuring adequate field response capabilities when alerts are triggered is critical but resource-intensive.

However, victim consent and privacy concerns need to be addressed if they are also required to carry tracking devices. Technology limitations like inconsistent coverage in remote areas can also reduce effectiveness.

Should we us electronic monitoring for domestic violence abusers?

In summary, while electronic monitoring shows promise in increasing victim safety and reducing reoffending when used appropriately, it needs to be implemented carefully as part of a broader strategy involving other interventions and sufficient resourcing. It will be interesting to see how the new bail laws for domestic violence abusers will play out.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

See More Popular Content From

Mondaq uses cookies on this website. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies as set out in our Privacy Policy.

Learn More