The bail program was launched as part of Bill Shorten’s promise to end Australia’s “broken system” in which the courts were unable to deal with serious criminal offences.
Since then, more than half a million people have been freed and many others remain behind bars.
What you should know about it: The bail scheme is an essential part of the Coalition’s plan to overhaul Australia’s criminal justice system, and is often used as a tool by judges to get people out of custody.
It was introduced in response to a raft of high-profile cases, including the murder of teenager Matthew Shepherd, who was shot dead by police.
The new bail rules were introduced in 2016 after the ABC’s Four Corners program revealed the lack of a national model for dealing with serious violent offenders, many of whom had previously served prison sentences for violent offences.
What happens if someone is not a good fit for bail?
A judge must approve a bail application.
In some cases, a judge can also recommend conditions of release, including community supervision.
For some, conditions of parole or release may be imposed.
If conditions are agreed, a person is referred to the Federal Court for a hearing.
Once a hearing is completed, a bail decision is taken.
Where a person doesn’t have a good reason to be on bail, the bail application can be refused, or a person may be given a bail conditional discharge.
Where the person is on bail for a serious offence, the court must consider whether to order a prison sentence or make a conditional release.
Under the current system, people in custody face restrictions including: they can’t leave the country for any reason, or even leave their home state without permission