Peter Csemiczky reflects on the problems presented by pre-charge bail reform

Changes to pre-charge bail may not be the most eye-catching of various criminal justice reforms in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, but the plan to return to a system under which suspects can languish on bail for months on end (often subject to highly restrictive conditions) has the potential to be one of the Bill’s most significant proposals.

The proposed bail changes are important for two reasons. The first is that, in my view, the changes challenge a fundamental rule of law. The second is they show how the Government is unable to recognise its own role in creating the problem it now seeks to solve.

Most criminal law practitioners will agree that the current system of pre-charge bail is a mess. It is wor...

Peter Csemiczky
Lawyer
Hickman & Rose

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