4th May 2022
Damian Johnston in the Australian (25/4/22) has ‘blown the whistle’ on IBAC.
The CAA has long held the view that the ‘show trials’ conducted by IBAC were not a big step away from the medieval stocks, an instrument of the medieval 1300s, where alleged miscreants were exposed to public ridicule without conviction or a trial.
The only difference is that these IBAC ‘show trials’ do not include rotten tomatoes for the masses to throw at the hapless victim.
Operation Sandon, where the former Mayor of the City of Casey took her own life three days after receiving an interim finding from IBAC is something that is inexcusable in our alleged civilised society.
Amanda Stapleton had the indignity of being exposed to an IBAC ‘show trial’ and the most serious allegation put to her was she allegedly failed to declare a $25k political donation. Hardly worth a life but the degree of humiliation seems to have caused the loss.
It is alleged that no new information was achieved by the ‘show trial’ and the destruction of witnesses. Therefore, the exercise was one of humiliation, not examination.
A simple basic tenet of law applies,’ Innocent until proven guilty’ but apparently this does not apply to IBAC.
IBAC bragging about its social media exposure is a disgrace and should of itself be justification for its demise. This has been severely aggravated by the most recent leaks where it would appear that the IBAC media image trumps due process.
What has been amazing is just how quiet the legal fraternity is on this issue given these bastions of traditionalism of the Law are so vocal on any other deviations that impact the law, but holding people to ridicule, a severe punishment in itself, without a conviction or any due process is not challenged.
IBAC should be judged like a famous fish cannery slogan “It is the fish that John West rejects, that makes John West the best”
By applying that slogan to IBAC’s failure to take action on the Red Shirts, COVID Hotels, Racist recidivist Police executive white supremacist rants, politicians travel rorts, Health Department indiscretions, Police executive travel rorts, Police executive bullying, Gobbo affair and Slug-gate are the ones that IBAC rejects and should be judged unmercifully.
How this criminality is allowed to be ignored is a crime of itself.
It seems however, IBAC are well capable of applying substantial resources to a witch hunt called branch stacking. Much more Political than criminal but is an insight into what now must be seen as part of the political apparatus.
Moreover, what this issue also raises has to be the competence of IBAC and their need to resort to their extraordinary powers so, poorly applied.
Clearly, their investigative skills are compromised severely either by a lack of competent investigators, poor management, or both.
Serious consideration must be given to disposing of IBAC and replacing it with a new entity because above all else there is no evidence to suggest that IBAC is reducing corruption by simply picking off favourite cases to pursue. On that basis, they should really be kicking goals.
The latest alleged leaking of an interim report of matters under investigation exacerbates severely the ineptitude of IBAC and given the état d’esprit of IBAC towards the media the probability, that this document was deliberately leaked, is a genuine consideration. If that is so, that must mean the end of IBAC. It does not matter who made the leak, that it happened within IBAC must be worn by the organisation.
There should be no ‘that’s him over there’s problem’ in this one.
The failures are not only of IBAC itself but an even greater failure of the Inspectorate responsible for overseeing the entity and in turn the Parliamentary Oversight Committee. Overall, it is a catastrophic failure morally and at Law.
The CAA has proposed an alternate and a solution detailed at https://caainc.org.au/library/?doing_wp_cron=1650872927.2962388992309570312500 VICTORIA’S ANTI-CORRUPTION WAR
Although “show trials” should be referred to as public examinations. It is that process that is so damaging to both innocent and guilty alike. Like any criminal investigation, the due process of law must be followed and importantly individuals must have their guilt or innocence determined by a Court, not by innuendo or public servants by a public inquisition, where the victim is unable to defend themselves.
The whole process smacks of, ‘we know you did it but because we cannot prove it we will destroy you anyway’.
Even with the ability to pick and choose targets IBAC’s track record is abysmal, they would be unlikely to take on a case that they would lose, but that is probably explained by the criteria now exposed for taking on investigations; Media ratings potential.
The plaintive cry over funding would have to be tested against performance because simply providing more funding will not solve endemic issues within the ethos of the authority.
More funding will exasperate and amplify the problems and corruption will go on unabated.