§ Lord GARDINER
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why Rules of Court are necessary before the Bail Act 1976 can be brought into force and why it took more than a year to prepare the draft rules.
§ Lord HARRIS of GREENWICH
The Bail Act makes extensive changes to the law and procedures relating to bail in criminal proceedings. Much of the detailed procedure is prescribed in rules of court, which have needed extensive amendment and revision to take account of the abolition of recognizances of defendants, the creation of the absconding offence and new provisions about the taking of sureties, recognizances and the giving of security for bail. In addition Section 5 of the Bail Act requires new procedures for forms to be prescribed for keeping records of bail decisions (including the courts' reasons for withholding bail or granting conditional bail) which have to be available to the defendant and may be required subsequently for evidential purposes in prosecutions for the absconding offence.
The making of rules on these complex matters for the Court of Appeal, the High Court, the Crown Court and magistrates' courts is a substantial operation and has been delayed by the need for wide consultations with interested bodies and because those engaged in their preparation were also involved in the passage of the Criminal Law Act last session.