Submission to the Select Committee relating to the establishment of a National Integrity Commission
On 24 February 2016, the Australian Senate resolved to establish a Select Committee relating to the establishment of a National Integrity Commission. The proposed National Integrity Commissioner has been likened to a "federal ICAC", in reference to the Independent Commission against Corruption, which operates in New South Wales as an anti-corruption and misconduct regulator at the state level.
This submission argues that, based on the historical experience with state level anti-corruption agencies, a federal National Integrity Commission would not be appropriate or desirable, and would invite abuses of power.
This submission also argues that state level anti-corruption agencies wield coercive powers which violate the legal rights of individuals, and play by a different set of rules than the traditional system of justice. A federal agency - necessarily modelled on state agencies - would likewise be lacking in the rigour which produces more just outcomes. This is inconsistent with democratic principles and the rule of law.