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QC backed to lead Crime Commission

QC backed to lead Crime Commission

A Sydney barrister has been recommended to be the next boss of the New South Wales Crime Commission.

Peter Hastings QC was suggested for the role by Police Minister Mike Gallacher, who said his experience in criminal and administrative law would help him drive a strong team that will reform the organisation.

Hastings was admitted as a barrister in 1977 and practises at Selborne Chambers in Sydney.

He has been a Queen’s Counsel since 1992 and has extensive experience in investigating Commonwealth offences, including fraud, narcotics and corporations matters, in jurisdictions from the High Court to the Local Court.

He appeared on behalf of the NSW Commissioner of Police during the Wood Royal Commission and before the Police Integrity Commission. He has been involved in enquiries conducted by statutory bodies including the former National Crime Authority, Independent Commission Against Corruption, the NSW Crime Commission and the Police Integrity Commission.

Between 2002 and 2004 he was the senior counsel assisting the Kennedy Royal Commission into the West Australian Police Service.

The NSW Crime Commission was established in 1985 to investigate organised crime and major drug trafficking.

Last year, a special commission of inquiry recommended an overhaul of the body after a trail of scandals, the most prominent being the jailing of Mark Standen, the former assistant director of the Crime Commission, on drug importation charges, and evidence that the Commission had been using seized proceeds of crime to finance its operations.

Hastings said he wanted to build the Crime Commission’s reputation and lead it into a new phase.

Gallacher said Hastings’ experience as a QC made him capable for the role. He also indicated more announcements would be made soon.

A NSW parliamentary committee that oversees the Commission's activities will now consider Hastings’ anticipated appointment.

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