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Suspects still left in limbo? The continuing challenge of pre-charge bail

Dehaghani, Roxanna ORCID:, Smith, Tom and Newman, Daniel ORCID: 2023. Suspects still left in limbo? The continuing challenge of pre-charge bail. Criminal Law Review 8 , pp. 492-511.

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Pre-charge bail has undergone significant reform in recent years. In 2017, changes introduced by the Policing and Crime Act 2017 placed time limits on pre-charge bail. Notwithstanding this attempt to more effectively regulate the use of bail, police found a helpful workaround in the form of ‘release under investigation’, an informal status which proved hugely problematic for both victims and suspects. As a result, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022 introduced further changes to the law in this area, designed to address the detrimental effect on the former, yet seemed to show little concern for the latter. This article, drawing on original interview data with criminal defence solicitors in Wales and analysis of the legislative framework, examines the changes to pre-charge bail and the negative impact this has had and may continue to have on suspects. It explores the role of police culture regarding these changes, offers suggestions for how the most recent reforms may be interpreted, and urges that suspects’ rights be more robustly protected.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Law
Cardiff Law & Politics
Publisher: Sweet and Maxwell
ISSN: 0011-135X
Funders: British Academy
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 June 2023
Date of Acceptance: 7 April 2023
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 12:54

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