The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) should be abolished, according to Simon Breheny, Director of the Legal Rights Project at free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs.
In an opinion article in today’s edition of The Australian, Mr Breheny calls for ICAC to be abolished after the body demanded even more coercive powers, calling ICAC “Australia’s biggest kangaroo court.”
Last week, the High Court of Australia found that ICAC lacked the power to investigate Margaret Cunneen, the Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor, for allegedly counselling another person on how to avoid taking a breath test.
In response, ICAC has called on the Baird government for an extension of its powers.
“This is a ridiculous campaign by ICAC, and Premier Baird should ignore it,” says Mr Breheny.
“ICAC’s powers already breach some of our most fundamental legal rights. For example, it can force witnesses to answer questions, removing the right to silence. Expanding its powers is turning away from 800 years of common law.”
“If ICAC cannot catch people while adhering to the law, then the problem is not the law – the problem is ICAC.”
“ICAC’s demand for more power is desperate and illegitimate. ICAC should be abolished and investigation of corrupt conduct should be investigated by the police and prosecuted in criminal courts,” says Mr Breheny.
For media and comment: Simon Breheny, Director, Legal Rights Project, [email protected] or 0400 967 382