Noble cause corruption : the Wood Inquiry

Lauchs, Mark A. & Merrington, Shannon (2012) Noble cause corruption : the Wood Inquiry. In 19th Annual Conference of the Australian Association for Professional and Applied Ethics, 28 June - 1 July 2012, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD.

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This paper examines the instances and motivations for noble cause corruption perpetrated by NSW police officers. Noble cause corruption occurs when a person tries to produce a just outcome through unjust methods, for example, police manipulating evidence to ensure a conviction of a known offender. Normal integrity regime initiatives are unlikely to halt noble cause corruption as its basis lies in an attempt to do good by compensating for the apparent flaws in an unjust system. This paper suggests that the solution lies in a change of culture through improved leadership and uses the political theories of Roger Myerson to propose a possible solution. Evidence from police officers in transcripts of the Wood Inquiry (1997) are examined to discern their participation in noble cause corruption and their rationalisation of this behaviour. The overall findings are that officers were motivated to indulge in this type of corruption through a desire to produce convictions where they felt the system unfairly worked against their ability to do their job correctly. We have added to the literature by demonstrating that the rewards can be positive. Police are seeking job satisfaction through the ability to convict the guilty. They will be able to do this through better equipment and investigative powers.

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ID Code: 51371
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Noble Cause Corruption, Wood Royal Commission, Police Corruption
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Causes and Prevention of Crime (160201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Police Administration Procedures and Practice (160205)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 03 Jul 2012 22:10
Last Modified: 18 May 2013 20:56

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