The future of ICAC, the NSW corruption watchdog, is about to be decided by the High Court

The High Court of Australia

The New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) had a bumper year last year, claiming the scalp of premier Barry O’Farrell and several ministers as it looked into illegal campaign donations from developers and the actions of former Labor minister Eddie Obeid and his family.

But all of that may be about to come crashing down as the High Court of Australia rules on the very nature of what it means to be corrupt.

The landmark High Court decision has the power to unravel the findings of recent ICAC investigations and comes after ICAC began pursuing Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen, SC, over allegations she perverted the course of justice by telling her son’s girlfriend to avoid a random breath test by faking chest pains.

Cuneen has been fighting ICAC’s attempt to investigate her and last year won a NSW Court of Appeal challenge which found that the allegation against her outside ICAC’s jurisdiction and was not “corrupt conduct” under the ICAC Act.

The High Court is about to rule on what “corrupt conduct” means under the ICAC Act just after 10am and their decision has the potential to change the face of politics in NSW.

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