General Sentencing Principles
- Multiple or Continuing Offences
- Double Punishment
- Part IB: Sentencing of Federal Offenders
- Taking into Account Other Offences
- Victim of the Offence
- One Transaction Rule
- Section 16A
- Sentencing Factors
- Totality Principle
- Nature and Circumstances of the Offence
- Physical Condition
- Injury, Loss or Damage
- Consistency in Federal Sentencing
- Mental Condition
- The Impact of COVID-19 on Federal Sentencing
- Offender’s Family and Dependants
- Failure to Comply with Order or Obligation
- Course of Conduct
- Hardship to the Offender
- Contrition and Reparation
- Cultural Background
- Guilty Plea
- Adequacy of Punishment
Sentencing Options and Procedures
- Additional Sentencing Alternatives
- Breach of Conditional Release Bonds After Conviction
- Commencement of Federal Sentences
- Cumulative and Concurrent Sentences
- Conditional Release Orders After Conviction
- Hospital Orders
- Custodial Sentence
- Summary Disposition for Mental Illness
- Non Parole Period and Recognizance Release Orders
- Release on Parole or Licence
- Pre-Release Schemes and Leave of Absence
- Program Probation Orders
- Psychiatric Probation Orders
- Options without Proceeding to Conviction
- Table of Options
- Victim Impact Statements
- Sentencing Methodology
- Particular Sentencing Circumstances
- Ancillary Orders
Breach of Conditional Release Bonds After Conviction
The content on this page was last reviewed on 13 December 2022.
Section 20A outlines the power of the court to deal with a person who has been discharged in pursuance of an order under s 19B(1), or released in pursuance of an order under s 20(1), and who, without reasonable cause or excuse, fails to comply with a condition of the order.
Court proceedings to determine breach must comply with the requirements of natural justice and criminal standards of proof: Leckie; Ex parte Felman (1977) 18 ALR 93.1
A magistrate before whom an information is laid about the failure of an offender to comply with a condition of the recognizance may, provided the complaint is made before the expiration of the recognizance period:
- (a) issue a summons directing the person to appear, on a date, at a time and at a place fixed in the summons, before the court by which the order was made; or
- (b) if the information is laid on oath and the magistrate is of the opinion that proceedings against the person by summons might not be effective – issue a warrant for the apprehension of the person.
Section 20A(1A) provides that where the breach of a condition of the order constituted a commission by the person of an offence, the information can be laid at any time.
The court may also order that any recognizance or surety be entreated and any security enforced: s 20A(7).
Under the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) s 20A(6), in determining the action to be taken by the court against the offender for the breach of the conditional release order, the court is to take into account:
- the fact that the order was made: s 20A(6)(a);
- anything done under the order: s 20A(6)(b); and
- any other order made in respect of the offence or offences: s 20A(6)(c).
In Stevens v McCallum  ACTCA 13, the ACT Court of Appeal explained at – that sentencing following a breach of recognizance involves two discretionary decisions:
The first is whether the breach is of such gravity and consequence as to require treatment of the recognizance and, hence, reconsideration of the original sentence. That is a process not unlike that of breach of contract. Is the breach sufficiently serious that the agreement should be regarded as ended? The next is a consideration, in the light of the breach, of the original sentence.
The New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal in Morris (Unreported, Court of Criminal Appeal, 14 July 1995), cited in Doyle (1996) 84 A Crim R 287, 290 stated that:
[A sentence for breach] may not, of course, exceed that sentence which is appropriate to the objective circumstances; but it should usually reflect the fact that by his rejection of the trust placed in him by the previous sentencing court, the offender will have shown a lack of remorse and cast doubt upon his prospects of rehabilitation.
2. Breach of s 20(1)(a) order
Where the court is satisfied that a person who has been released in pursuance of an order made under s 20(1)(a) has failed to comply with a condition of the order without reasonable cause or excuse, the court may:
- impose a pecuniary penalty not exceeding 10 federal penalty units on the person while allowing the original order to stand: s 20A(5)(b)(i); or
- revoke the order and deal with the person for the offence in respect of which the order was made as though the offender was before the court for sentence in respect of the offence: s 20A(5)(b)(ii); or
- take no action: s 20A(5)(b)(iii).
Where the court is satisfied that a person who has been released in pursuance of an order made under s 20(1)(b) has failed to comply with a condition of the order without reasonable cause or excuse, the court may:
- impose a monetary penalty not exceeding $1000: s 20A(5)(c)(ia); or
- amend the order so as to extend the period for which the person is required to give security to be of good behaviour, provided that the period as extended does not exceed 5 years: s 20A(5)(c)(ib); or
- revoke the order and make an order under s 20AB: s 20A(5)(c)(ic); or
- revoke the order and order that the person be imprisoned for the part of each sentence of imprisonment fixed under s 20(1)(b): s 20A(5)(c)(i); or
- take no action: s 20A(5)(c)(ii).
- Arie Freiberg, Sentencing: State and Federal Law in Victoria (3rd ed, 2014), [10.180]; see also Oatley v CDPP  SASCA 108, –.