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  • Namita Pawa

What is the difference between RUI and BTR?

What is the difference between release under investigation (RUI) and bail to return (BTR)?

In any police investigation, the police are required to act with due diligence and expedition, which essentially means as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Following an arrest, if the police are not in a position to make a charging decision, they will need more time to continue their investigation. If they release a suspect on bail, the police are limited by the applicable bail time limits, which are initially three months from the date of arrest, which can be extended with the permission of a Superintendent to six months from the date of arrest.

Bail to Return

The main consideration is where the bail conditions are necessary to ensure the future attendance of the person being bailed, or to minimise the risk of commission of further offences or interference with witnesses.

If bail conditions are considered necessary by the Custody sergeant, then subject to any representations, they hear either from the suspect themselves or from the legal representative on their behalf, bail will be granted with conditions imposed. The conditions will be explained in full to the detainee as well as providing them with a copy of their bail sheet that will set out the date that they must return to the police station and the conditions that they must adhere to in that period.

Bail conditions that can be imposed by the police include, but are not limited to:

  • Residence at a particular location;

  • Reporting to a police station on a particular day(s);

  • Not to contact a named individual, often the complainant in the case, as well as other prosecution witnesses;

  • Not to attend a specified location, often the location at which the complainant resides/works or the location of which the offending is alleged to have taken place.

Release under Investigation

If the police require further time for an investigation, but that they are content that conditions are not necessary then they can release a detainee under investigation. The shorthand version of this RUI. The advantage for the police utilising this process is that they are not restricted by the time limits imposed on a bail to return, and therefore there is no end date when the investigation must be concluded. That being said the principal that they still act as quickly and efficiently as possible applies.

Legal disclaimer: Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is accurate at the date of publication but please note that the law is ever changing and evolving. If you require advice in relation to any matter raised in this article please contact a member of the team.


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