LAWFUEL – NZ Law Jobs, Law Announcements – National MP Simon Power has attacked new bail laws, saying they make it easier for people to remain free even if they breach their conditions.
Mr Power’s criticism follow the High Court’s decision to give Chris Kahui bail under the new law, despite previous breaches of bail conditions.
The new bail laws came into force this week as part of a raft of law changes around sentencing designed to keep prisoner numbers down.
The changes to the Bail Act effectively make it easier for people to get bail, by requiring a “real and significant risk” that the defendant will either fail to appear in court, interfere with a witness or evidence, or offend while on bail.
Under previous law, it was needed only to be shown there was a “risk”.
Mr Power said lowering the threshold for bail was a “dangerous experiment that could have disastrous consequences.”
“If bail is easier to get, there is the increased likelihood of more people wandering the streets who shouldn’t be, and that means the potential for an increase in offending.”