When the Greens, other fringe politicians and various activist journalists demand public hearings by a federal anti-corruption commission, they are admitting one of two things. Either they are ignorant about the critical difference between a court and one of these commissions. Or they are signalling reckless support for public show trials that do not adhere to due process. Being ambushed and publicly hauled in front of an anti-corruption commission can destroy the reputations and lives of innocent people.
Start with the astounding level of ignorance perverting much of the discussion around a federal anti-corruption body. We adhere to a system of open justice, where proceedings before a court are public, because of longstanding and proven safeguards that ensure an accused person receives a fair trial.
But the proposed anti-corruption body is not a court. It does not provide those who appear before it the essential elements of a fair trial.
- There is no due process.
- A person hauled before an anti-corruption body is not told of the charges.
- They are not given a brief of evidence to formulate their defence.
- There is no right against self-incrimination, no presumption of innocence.
- There are no evidentiary rules or legal precedents to rein in rogue judges because a commissioner is not sitting as a judge, and the commission is not a court.
- The commission can instigate its own investigation.
- It can use wide-ranging surveillance techniques.
- It can rely on a wholly anonymous allegation to pursue a person.
If one does understand the critical difference between a court and an anti-corruption body, then it is entirely reckless to demand public hearings. Indeed, it is the antithesis of progress to applaud this medieval feature of some of the state ICACs and demand it be replicated at federal level. Public hearings will cause a surge in public ambushes and show trials as anti-corruption commissioners seek to satisfy this appetite for scalps. Imagine the glee in sections of the media, especially among some ABC journalists, from providing saturation coverage of corruption show trials every bit as warped as their media witch-hunts. This is a rotten habit to feed. …
Bureaucrats, unelected and unaccountable, can destroy anyone:
If we are not careful, we will repeat at the federal level the fundamental flaws of state ICAC models. Under the NSW legislation, the definition of “corruption” is so open-ended and subjective that commissions are given free rein to behave like ambush units to publicly shame the innocent. The federal draft legislation is equally vague.
- The NSW ICAC made damning public allegations against Murray Kear and Michael Gallacher, leaving the careers of both men in tatters, even though both were spectacularly vindicated. There was no apology, no recompense. It’s the same under the draft federal legislation.
- Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission has faced allegations that it drove one witness to take her own life.
- Queensland’s Crime and Corruption commissioner Alan MacSporran resigned after a parliamentary committee found he failed to ensure the watchdog “acted independently and impartially”.
- [The South Australian] ICAC led to a suicide and the destruction of the lives and careers of several public servants and police officers. Only after irreversible damage was done did the SA state parliament amend the powers of their corruption body.
In pursuit of power, the ends justifies the means for some:
Whether driven by recklessness or ignorance, it is a sign of how shallow this debate has become that so many people imagine that the end justifies even the most flawed, unprincipled, or unfair means. Securing some notable successes at the cost of spectacular failures is not a reform we should countenance. Yet posturing Green MPs and some of the teals brandish the words “corruption commission” as if it is a talisman, some irrefutable proof of virtue, with the insinuation that anyone concerned about their powers and reach wants to go easy on corruption.
An anti-corruption commission would be a major blow to democracy and justice. It would be a return towards medieval state power.
The Greens are the purest expression of the globalist ruling class in Australia, closely followed by the Labor Party. You know that by who the ABC barracks for.