Category: Commissions of Inquiry

Without doubt, self-preservation is the most powerful and compelling of all human instincts. The will to survive - physically, emotionally, financially – is acute and compelling, inextricably ingrained in our human condition.
In a time of increasingly vigorous criticism of some of our court processes, many were taken aback when Victoria’s Supreme Court recently hit back at its detractors, carpeting three politicians, a journalist and a newspaper editor, over public statements criticising the sentencing of terror offenders. A couple of months ago three ministers of the Turnbull government, – Greg Hunt, Alan Tudge and Michael Sukkar – publicly slammed Victorian judges for what they characterised as inappropriate leniency and “ideological experiments” in sentencing terrorists, Mr Sukkar asserting the judges’ approach “has eroded any trust that remained in our legal system.”
There’s a common misconception in some circles that only criminals, miscreants and ne’er-do-wells attract the attention of investigators like Federal and State police, corporate and other regulatory watchdogs, the tax man and the like. Most of us blithely go through life believing if we always try to act honestly and honourably there is no risk we will ever be targeted. Unfortunately, it’s just not true.
For many the recent retrospective by Brisbane’s Courier Mail newspaper, celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the game-changing Fitzgerald Commission of Inquiry into Police Corruption in Queensland, will have brought back memories of more robust times. Between 1987 and 1989 the inquiry, presided over by Tony Fitzgerald, then a razor-sharp and highly regarded Brisbane barrister, systematically uncovered and dismantled an entrenched culture of police corruption that led all the way to the top.