18 May 2021

Former NSW Supreme Court Justice named ACT Integrity Commissioner

| Dominic Giannini
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Michael Adams

Former NSW Supreme Court Justice Michael Adams has been appointed as the new ACT Integrity Commissioner. Photo: IPCC.

Former NSW Supreme Court Justice and NSW police watchdog commissioner Michael Adams QC has been appointed the ACT’s second Integrity Commissioner.

In January this year, Mr Adams became the acting commissioner following the resignation of the inaugural commissioner Dennis Cowdroy in December 2020.

Speaker Joy Burch said she was confident Mr Adams was the right person to undertake the role.

“I am pleased that [Mr Adams] is able to continue the important work that he and the Commission have been undertaking during this time,” she said.

The appointment of Mr Adams required a two-thirds majority in the ACT Legislative Assembly and passed with 23 votes in favour and none against on Thursday morning (22 April).

Mr Adams was appointed as a Justice of the NSW Supreme Court in 1998. He retired from the court in 2017 to become the inaugural Chief Commissioner of the NSW Law Enforcement Conduct Commission.

READ ALSO Bulk of ACT Integrity Commission complaints relate to questionable promotions

He also sat in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of NSW, including in the Court of Criminal Appeal for two decades, and was also a judge on the United Nations Dispute Tribunal from 2009 to 2010.

The Integrity Commission had launched three full investigations and nine preliminary inquiries as of 25 February 2021.

Inappropriate promotions and appointments within the ACT public service make up the largest number of complaints received by the ACT Integrity Commission, Mr Adams said during Committee Hearings in February this year.

A significant number of the complaints about promotions allege “bad motives” behind the decision, he said.

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Good luck sir – you’re gonna need it.

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