Tasmanian Times


The proposed Federal ICAC and Retrospectivity

I thought it might help to point out on the Federal ICAC issue, that the claims that it would not be appropriate to look at past events because of the retrospectivity issue is not correct.

Retrospectivity applies where the standard by which behaviour is to be judged has been changed. It would then clearly be wrong to judge past behaviour according to a standard which did not apply at the time the behaviour was conducted.

But with the ICAC issue, the standards for judging behaviour have not changed – merely the means by which non-compliant past behaviour might be detected.

If the current view of retrospectivity were applied more widely, it would mean that whenever the police set up a new cold-case unit, it would not be able to look at past events, which would of course be nonsense.

A new investigatory body merely supplements or expands current means of investigation and that does not involve any adverse element of retrospectivity.

With best wishes,


Dr Robert N Moles

Networked Knowledge http://netk.net.au

Adjunct Principal Researcher
College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences
Flinders University of South Australia

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Chris

    December 16, 2018 at 7:14 am

    Pulp Mill, Ralphs Bay, Sustainable Timber, State Planning – Conflict of interest(s)?

  2. max

    December 15, 2018 at 8:49 am

    If the current view of retrospectivity was applied more widely it would mean that whenever the police set up a new cold-case unit it would not be able to look at past events, which would, of course be nonsense.

    The above is the very reason why we will never have an ICAC while politicians have their sticky fingers anywhere near one.

    The duplicity of Morrison and his floundering government is beyond belief, and must be driving even his most ardent supporters into hiding.

  3. Russell

    December 15, 2018 at 7:19 am

    The whole purpose of any ICAC is to investigate past wrongs and discrepancies.

    You can’t investigate the future’s wrongs, but you can deter them with harsh penalties.

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