With experts from across legal and academic fields, the Accountability & The Law Conference is a special initiative of The Australia Institute that will discuss the weaknesses in the current federal accountability system and suggest mechanisms for reform.
- Opening remarks — David Ipp AO QC, former NSW ICAC Commissioner
- Keynotes — Nicholas Cowdery AM QC and Geoffrey Watson SC
- Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus QC, Senator Richard Di Natale, Senator Nick Xenophon, Senator Jacqui Lambie
- George Williams AO, Bret Walker SC, Noel Hutley SC, Fiona McLeod SC
- Associate Professor Joo Cheong Tham, Associate Professor Gabrielle Appleby, Professor AJ Brown
Ongoing scandals involving federal politicians show that the undue influence and corruption risks uncovered through NSW ICAC are not limited to a state government level. In fact, the integration of political parties across state and federal branches mean that fundraising is shared and many officials fill roles at both levels.
Weak accountability laws, low levels of public disclosure and the lack of a federal anti-corruption watchdog make many cases of undue influence and soft corruption at a federal level hidden from public view. In addition, behaviour considered corrupt in NSW is currently fully legal at a federal level.
This can impact a range of policy areas, when politicians and public officials are open to the undue influence of vested interests when making decisions on policy development.
Accountability and transparency can be increased through strengthening accountability laws including on political donations and lobbying, increasing the enforcement functions of the Australian Electoral Commission, and implementing a federal anti-corruption body like a federal ICAC.
Please join us in Canberra on August 17th for the Accountability & The Law Conference 2017.