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Bail in Criminal Proceedings
by Neil Corre and David Wolchover

Second Edition, 1999
ISBN 1-85431-921-3
Price 29.95 in UK
337 pages
Published by Blackstone Press, 1999.

Third Edition 2004
ISBN 0-19-926475-9(hbk.)
Price is likely to be about 73.00 in hardback
565 pages
Published by

The question of bail is integral to every criminal prosecution and arises every time a criminal case is adjourned and the accused is remanded. Criminal law practitioners, from the newly qualified to those with many years' experience, have to deal with issues of bail on a daily basis, sometimes against the background of an overwhelming case for custody. Now in its third edition and now published by the Oxford University Press, Bail in Criminal Proceedings is acknowledged as the locus classicus on the subject providing, as it does, a uniquely comprehensive account of the law, practice and procedure at every stage of the criminal justice process, from the police station to the House of Lords. As the vade mecum on bail it was extensively cited as a basic text by the Law Commission, in their consultation paper Bail and the Human Rights Act 1998 and by the House of Commons in its research for the Criminal Justice Bill 2003.
The work has been extensively revised since the 2nd edition to take into account the important and far-reaching measures enacted by the Criminal Justice Act 2003. These include measures to ensure compliance with the ECHR, the presumption that bail will not be granted in certain circumstances (such as when an offence has been committed while the defendant was already on bail, or if the defendant has committed an imprisonable offence and tested positive for a Class A drug), and the simplification of the bail appeals system. Important recent cases covered in the book include Havering Justices and R v Teeside Magistrates' Court, ex parte Ellison on the applicability of Convention Article 6 to proceedings following arrest upon breach of bail conditions, R (Stevens) v Truro Magistrates' Court on securities for attendance, and numerous decisions on the developing law relating to custody time limits.

Subject matter
The subject matter includes:--

  • All the relevant primary and secondary legislation
  • A comprehensive treatment of the Rules of Court
  • Guidance on professional ethics
  • The results of empirical research - including previously unpublished studies


Introduction (including a detailed discourse on the European Convention on Human Rights); the right to bail; surety and security; conditions other than surety or security; failiing to surrender and breaching conditions; renewed applications for bail; police bail; the jurisdiction of the magistrates' court; the jurisdiction of the Crown Court, bail pending appeal; the jurisdiction of the High Court; vulnerable suspects and defendants; custody time limits; the role and duties of the advocate on matters of bail.

Neil Corre
Neil Corre was formerly a Solicitor-Advocate (Higher Courts Criminal) but is now a barrister. He is also course director of London Legal Lectures.

David Wolchover
David Wolchover is a practising barrister and former Head of Chambers at 7 Bell Yard, London.

What some of the reviews have said about earlier editions:-

  • " This book sets out all the material in one comprehensive volume which no criminal practitioner can afford to be without." --- The Magisterial Officer.
  • " This book . . . analyses exhaustively every apsect of the law relating to bail [and] cannot be faulted for its scholarship and depth of research. Anyone who is regularly involved in dealing with remands would do well to have a copy within reach . . . It is worthy of a place in the library of all those concerned with the judicial process ." --- The Justice of the Peace, January, 2000.
  • " To many newly qualified advocates, their first real experience within the criminal justice system will be advancing a case for bail against the (often) overwhelming case supporting custody. This book is a little goldmine of useful tips and information which provides a comprehensive account of the law, practice and procedure at every stage within the process from the police station to the House of Lords. It is a 'must' for those just concluding pupillage or newly admitted solicitors faced with their first advocacy battles." --- The Western Circuiteer, Michaelmas Term, 2000.
  • " This work . . .commences with a faxcinating brief history of bail, citing authorities going back to the beginning of the last Millennium. As well as providing a comprehensive consideration of each and every aspect of the law, it encourages vigour in the making of bail applications where the advocate can readily see that the law has been strained against the concept of liberty . . . It makes one realise that the Bail Act of 1976 giving a general entitlement to bail has developed into a means whereby the granting of bail in practice is often restricted, in a way it was not at common law. . . . I commend this work as a first class tool or a stick with which to beat wielders of formularies devoid of compassion. Do prosecutors always appear to the accused as 'Ministers of Justice'? Corre and Wolchover's work is the best thing we have until Art. 6 really bites." --- JEFFREY GORDON, New Law Journal, May 12, 2000.

Reviews of the 3rd edition:-

  • " This is the third editioin of this invaluable book and, of course, no one actively practising or otherwise serioiusly concerned with the English criminal law can hope to survive without it. It is produced to the same high standards as its predecessors. In particular, it cannot be too highly praised for its thorough and indeed exhaustive exploration of the intricacies as well as the principles of its subject. It is tireless in its pursuit of every anomaly, uncertainty, ambiguity, and inconsistency in the stautory provisions, between those provisions and the general principles of law, the decided cases, and, of course, the Human Rights Act and the Convention. Itr makes the book a rich arsenal for practitioners appearing for other otherwise representing their clients in bail cases. One of the particularly valuable features of the book is that analysis and exposition are from time to time interrupted to permit the authors to set out detailed summaries of the arguments for or against some particular view of what the law requires. These are particularly helpful read with ch. 13, which sets out he role of the Prosecution and the Defence advocates in matters of bail. The book contains the complete text of the Bail Act 1976 and the Bail (Amendment) Act 1993. The Introduction is an excellent survey of genberal principles, which notices some recent developments and ch.1 contains a brief but very useful history of the right to bail and ancillary matters. . . . It is difficult not to wonder if the present system and legislation is not more complex than is necessary or desirable; consider for example the subject of surieties for attendance and the processes of forfeiture, etc, if the circusmtances should arise, dealt with in ch.2. The provisions are immensely complex, whereas the nature and role of bail applications obviously suggests the desirability of expeditious hearing and disposal. It would be a pity if bail became one of those areas of the law where a procedural hypertrophy has set in. However, this is not the responsibility of the authors. Their job is to set out and comment upon the law as it is. They have done their job splendidly and we are all in their debt." --- M.B.M C M ULLAN , The Justice of the Peace , 29 January, 2005.
  • The book covers every, and I do mean every single aspect, of bail -- some familiar topics and others you probably have never even heard of. The text is littered with relevant stautory provisions and case law, combined with expert analysis. The introduction includes some interesting information as to the social policy backdrop of bail law and policy, and chapter one covers the historical development of bail over the ages. The book is expensive . . . but worth every penny, like most things in life you simply get what you pay for." --- ANDREW KEOGH , books.htm

The authors are continually updating the work and publish a Noter-Up on this website which they frequently revise.

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David’s professional address:
Ridgeway Chambers

General Council of the Bar of England and Wales Chambers Number 6473, 4 & 6 The Ridgeway - Golders Green - London - NW11 8TB - United Kingdom

David Wolchover's e-mail address is:
+44 (0)20 8455 2939
+44 (0)7877 817138