While there exist differences between the Coalition and ALP’s respective positions on the look and feel of the National Integrity Commission, the implementation of an appropriate model will require careful consideration, Law Council of Australia president Arthur Moses said.
Such consideration must include input from key stakeholders, legal experts and the community, and the Law Council looks forward to working towards an effective bipartisan solution, he posited.
“While the Law Council steadfastly opposes the inclusion of judicial oversight by a national integrity commission, the focus must be to ensure any federal body has the correct balance of powers to investigate corruption, but also protects the rights of individuals,” Mr Moses said.
“When you get the balance wrong, it may result in the abuse of power and reputations being unfairly damaged with lives destroyed. There are difficulties with both models that are being proposed by the Coalition and the ALP, which we will work through after the Federal election.”
LCA hopes and expects, Mr Moses continued, that any further debate on this important step to combat corruption will be “conducted respectfully with the rule of law at the front of the mind”, leaving rhetoric aside, he said.
“Nobody, including retired judges or politicians, should throw allegations around in order to impugn the motives of those who disagree with their model,” he posited.
“If we work together and not attack each other, we will come up with the best model that will fight corruption, but also not trample on the rights of individuals.”
Mr Moses also reiterated LCA’s call for the establishment of separate a federal judicial commission to oversee complaints against judges.