The structure and detail of the application will vary according to the nature and level of the prosecution's opposition to bail. Thus it is important for the duty solicitor to negotiate with the prosecutor beforehand, as to whether conditions can be agreed and confirm whether the client will be willing and able to comply with those conditions.
|STRINGENT BAIL CONDITIONS|
|The prosecution are keen to see strict compliance with conditions of bail. Where a defendant has been arrested for breaching a bail condition, it is not advisable for the duty solicitor to offer or suggest that the defendant should be re-released on bail, subject to even more stringent bail conditions. If the prosecution proposes bail conditions which appear unnecessarily onerous, the duty solicitor should be prepared to argue the application in the normal way, and focus upon explaining the reasons for the breach, if the breach is in fact admitted. The duty solicitor should not advise their client to agree to any conditions simply for the sake of bail being granted, because they may be more difficult for the client to comply with . A Magistrate may well agree with a duty solicitor's view and grant bail on less stringent conditions than sought by the prosecution. MAINTAIN CONSISTENCY WITH EXISTING BAIL CONDITIONS It is important that the duty solicitor is aware of any conditions set in pre-existing bail agreements. The duty solicitor must ensure that any bail conditions arising from an application are consistent with those pre-existing it. A Magistrate may call into court all other files to ensure consistency of bail conditions.|
It is important the applicant is in the dock before submissions begin for the bail application. It is important that they are present in court and can hear everything that is said. The formal order of address is as follows:
- the defence indicates that the defendant is applying for bail;
- the prosecutor indicates that bail is opposed and submits reasons why bail should be refused; then
- defence puts submissions in support of bail, responding to the prosecution grounds of opposition.
|YOUR APPEARANCE AS DUTY SOLICITOR|
|The duty solicitor must make it clear that their appearance on the bail application is in their capacity as duty solicitor, otherwise the Magistrate may not note this fact on the court file. The result might be that on a subsequent appearance by the defendant, where for some reason their solicitor is not in court, the duty solicitor may be called for by the Magistrate under the mistaken impression that they have the conduct of the defendant’s file. To avoid such confusion, the duty solicitor should announce themself thus ‘my name is X. I appear as duty solicitor for Y’.|
Where prosecution have indicated that bail is unopposed and an agreement has been reached about bail conditions, submissions to the Court are straightforward, such as:
Note‘Your Honour, I appear as duty solicitor for the defendant in this application for bail. I understand my friend is not opposing bail with particular condition(s) and those can be met…….’
Then outline the necessary details relating to those conditions [see Proposals for bail conditions below].
|SPELL DIFFICULT WORDS|
|When the duty solicitor is stating a word which is spelt unusually such as a street name or a guarantor’s name, they should spell it slowly and clearly so the Magistrate’s clerk can record it accurately.|
It is important that submissions are accurate yet concise. They must address the contentious issues raised by prosecution. The submissions should form an argument rather than a narrative or description of a scenario. Personal style and the individual case will affect the structure of the argument.