Publishing Evidence Heard During a Bail Application in Breach of a Court Order

Publishing Evidence Heard During a Bail Application in Breach of a Court Order

If you are worried that any evidence heard during your bail application will have an effect on your criminal case then look no further. Under section 7 (1) of the Bail Act 1977, you can apply to the court during your bail application for an order that evidence, information, representations and the reasons of the magistrate or judge not be published. It then becomes an offence to publish any of this information.

Getting bail is important and you should be legally represented to give you the best chance possible at getting bail. We make bail applications for our clients regularly and can represent you for your bail application.

Police Interview
If you have been charged with publishing evidence heard during a bail application, police may want to interview you. Remember that you are not obliged to say anything during a police interview and what you do say can be used against you later on. Being interviewed by police is a stressful experience and you don’t need to go through it alone. We can assist you with advice, and can accompany you to a police interview.

Pleading Not Guilty
If you have been charged with this offence and intend to plead not guilty then it is important to be aware of both the court procedures as well the legal aspects of your case. It is best to get a lawyer to help you. Our expert lawyers can help you if you have been charged with this offence. We would closely examine the evidence against you, identify weaknesses and represent you in court.

Pleading Guilty
If you are charged with publishing evidence heard during a bail application against a court order and decide to plead guilty it is important to seek legal advice. The courts take any breach of court orders seriously and you will want to have a lawyer put forward your best case to help you get the best possible outcome. We represent our clients during pleas on a daily basis and can assist you if you have been charged with this offence. We will take the time to get to know you, and your story and be able to put your best case forward to the court.
What is the legal definition of Publishing Evidence Heard During a Bail Application in Breach of a Court Order?
The Bail Act 1977 (Vic) does not provide a definition of ‘publish’, this means we must look to the ordinary English meaning of the word. The Oxford English dictionary defines ‘publish’ as to make information generally known by writing, announcing, reading or to make available online.1

The general legal definition of ‘publish’ is to communicate information to a third party.2

Examples of Publishing Evidence Heard During a Bail Application in Breach of a Court Order
  • Publishing the personal details of a victim
  • Publishing the personal details of an accused
  • Publishing the details of a Police investigation
Elements of the offence
To prove this charge, the Prosecution must establish the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. a bail application was made in respect of a person (P); and
  2. the prosecutor intended to oppose the bail application and so gave evidence, information, representations, and reasons (if any) to the bail decision maker; and
  3. the accused (A) published the said evidence, information, representations, and reasons (if any) given by the prosecutor to the bail decision maker; and
  4. the publishing was made when a committal proceeding is held — before the person (P) in respect of whom the application is made is discharged; or
  5. the publishing was made when the person (P) in respect of whom the application is made is tried or committed for trial — before the trial is ended
Legislation
This offence is governed by section 7(1) of the Bail Act 1977.


[1] https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/publish
[2] Ibid.

 
As this is a strict liability offence, there are limited defences available. However, the following is a list of some defences:

  1. Factual error
  2. Honest and reasonable mistake as to fact
  3. Impossibility
Questions in cases like this
  • Was there an order prohibiting the details of the evidence to be published?
  • Were details of the evidence published?
You should call us to discuss your case with one of our lawyers if you have been charged. Deciding on whether to plead guilty or not has consequences for you and should be made after proper discussion with a criminal lawyer.
 

The maximum penalty for Publishing Evidence Heard During a Bail Application in Breach of a Court Order (s7(1) of Bail Act 1977) is a fine of 15 penalty units ($2,417.85) or imprisonment for three months.

The maximum penalty is normally reserved for the worst example of offending.