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Thursday, 24 August 1972
Page: 385

Senator DRURY (SOUTH AUSTRALIA) - I ask the AttorneyGeneral: Was Kim Robert Norman of Perth arrested in Perth on 26th July for alleged breach of section 51 of the National Service Act - failing to answer a call-up notice? Did he appear in court on the same day and was bail set at $1,500 with a similar surety? If so, does the Minister believe the bail to be excessive? Will the Minister obtain for the Senate the reason why such high bail was set? I also ask the Minister: ls bail of such an excessive amount generally set for much more serious crimes?

Senator GREENWOOD - 1 am aware that Mr Norman was before the court recently, but I have not the details before me and I cannot recollect them. 1 do know - and this is a broad matter of policy which is followed by the Crown Solicitor's Office with regard to bail applications by persons who have been on the run from the police in regard to National Service Act offences - that the Crown Solicitor should point out to magistrates that there has been a record of evasion of arrest, that bail applications should not be granted and that if they are to be granted there should be an amount of bail fixed which indicates that the persons run away from the police at their peril. This is the general policy and it has been necessitated by the numerous instances in which people arrested by police have been given bail of $200 or $300 and then they have cheerfully forfeited bail and not appeared in court on the date to which their case was adjourned. That is the situation which has happened on many occasions with these persons who are members of the draft resisters' union and other persons who are avoiding arrest for their offences. I think that it is only proper that these facts should be made known to magistrates. It is entirely a matter for the courts as to the amount of bail which they fix. But if a magistrate fixes a large amount of bail, I am sure that he does so on his appreciation of the circumstances.

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