This paper examines recent cases of political corruption in New South Wales, in light of corruption offences and law reform in other Australian states and the United Kingdom.
In recent years a number of high profile inquiries by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) have resulted in findings that persons in public office – including Members of Parliament, council officers, and public servants – have engaged in corrupt conduct, and that consideration should be given to the prosecution of those persons for criminal offences. This e-brief begins with an outline of ICAC’s role in investigating corruption. It then examines the main criminal offences in NSW that target corruption. Next, it refers to the recent ICAC findings in relation to the former Minister, Ian Macdonald. This paper also discusses past proposals to reform corruption offences in NSW and Australia. The final sections review corruption offences in other Australian States and note recent law reforms in the United Kingdom.