New Victorian laws to punish bail breaches

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark has announced legislation to crack down on those who commit further crimes while on bail or breach their bail conditions.

According to Mr Clark, the new laws will make it an offence to breach bail conditions, carrying a penalty of up to three months in jail or a fine of up to $4,200.

Offenders who commit an indictable offence while on bail will be liable to the same penalty, on top of the sentence imposed for the indictable offence itself.

The legislation, to be introduced into Parliament this week, will also set out a range of restrictions that an alleged offender can be required to agree to if released on bail, including curfews, no-go zones, residence requirements and non-contact conditions.

The legislation will also act to end "bail shopping" by requiring that any further applications for bail must be heard by the same judge or magistrate whenever practicable.

As well, applications to vary bail conditions, or to be granted bail after bail has been refused, will require three days notice to be given to the informant and the prosecution unless the court or the parties agree otherwise.

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