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Coroners and Justice Act 2009

Section 115:  Bail decisions in murder cases to be made by a Crown Court judge

546.Section 115 provides that a person who is charged with murder (including one charged with murder and other offences – subsection (6)) may not be granted bail except by a judge of the Crown Court. The power of magistrates to consider bail in murder cases, whether at the first hearing or after a breach of an existing bail condition, is thus removed.

547.Subsection (3) provides that where a person charged with murder appears, or is brought before, a magistrates’ court, a bail decision must be made by a judge of the Crown Court as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any event within 48 hours (excluding public holidays – subsection (7)) beginning with the day after the person’s appearance in the magistrates’ court.

548.Subsection (4) provides that the person must if necessary be committed in custody to the Crown Court to enable a bail decision to be made, and subsection (5) that it is immaterial whether he or she is at the same time sent for trial or remanded following adjournment of proceedings under section 52 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. That section generally requires a defendant charged with an offence only triable in the Crown Court to be sent by the magistrates’ court to the Crown Court forthwith.

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