The challenges of political corruption in Australia, the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission bill (2020) and the application of the APUNCAC

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Laws, 2022
Issue Date:
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Political corruption affects each nation-state differently, but the outcomes are nominally the same: a deficit of public trust, weakened government institutions and undermined political systems. This article analyzes issues of political corruption in Australia by framing them within a Na-tional Integrity Ecosystem (NIE) and addressing them against the proposed Commonwealth In-tegrity Commission (CIC) 2020 bill. It explores the prevalent ‘grey’ areas of Australian political corruption where they interact with the private sector - political donations, the revolving door, and lobbying. This article argues for their inclusion within the mandated scope of the proposed CIC. There is a need for strong legislation, both domestic and international, to fight corruption. This article then discusses the application of the provisions of the draft Anticorruption Protocol to the UN Convention Against Corruption (APUNCAC) that may apply with respect to these ‘grey’ issues, and how an International Anti-Corruption Court may provide another institutional model for Australia to follow. Finally, this article links these proposals to the 2021 UN General Assem-bly Special Session (UNGASS) on Corruption and the 9th Conference of States Parties on UNCAC (COSP9), events that illustrate multilateral momentum and progress on anti-corruption. As a country that has historically supported the UN multilateral framework and its institutions, this article recommends a proactive approach for Australia so that the passing of a strong domestic anticorruption initiative will contribute to the adoption, and eventual ratification, of APUNCAC.
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