JPs Sensitized to New Bail Act Provisions ahead of its Implementation

December 19, 2023

JPs Sensitized to New Bail Act Provisions ahead of its Implementation

Over 800 Justices of the Peace were recently engaged in a virtual JP Sensitization Session, hosted by the Ministry of Justice, to examine the provisions of the Pre-Charge Bail regime under the Bail Act 2023.

Bail, which may be considered by the court, a judge, a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a constable at or above the rank of Superintendent, who is neither the investigating officer nor the arresting officer, applies when someone is arrested or detained for committing certain offences and more time is needed for investigations.

Minister of Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, who made the presentation, reminded JPs that not everyone alleged to have committed an offence is to be brought under the pre-charge regime, but only offenders under the radar of the divisional commander in respect of the specified offences under part 1 of the first schedule of the Act.

“When you are called in and told by the police that the question of bail for a defendant, who is not yet charged, is to be considered, you will have to be clear of the grounds on which it was alleged that there is reason to believe that the defendant has committed an offence and ascertain the state of the investigation,” Minister Malahoo Forte said.

Justices of the Peace were reminded that justice is served when those who have committed offences face the law and those who have not committed offences are not held in custody, hence the need for diligence while exercising their duties.   

The new Bail Act includes additional stipulations concerning granting and withholding bail and the adherence to the rights of individuals that are fundamentally guaranteed and must be respected.

In situations where a JP is unsure if bail should be granted, they are encouraged to deny it and allow the matter to go to court.


The Bail Act 2023, repeals and replaces the legislation of 2000 and permits the granting of bail at three stages – pre-charge, post charge and post-conviction – in defined cases.

To access details of the law, visit