I have today advised the Attorney-General of my decision to resign from my position as Chairperson of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC), effective from close of business on Friday 28 January 2022.
Many people have urged me to continue in this important role, despite the recent finding contained in the report of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee (PCCC).
However, I find myself in a position where, despite a career spanning in excess of 40 years, where my honesty and integrity have never been questioned, it is clear to me that the relationship between myself and the PCCC has broken down irretrievably. This saddens me deeply.
As a Queen’s Counsel (QC) and criminal barrister, I came to the CCC with more than 40 years’ experience in the criminal justice system defending and prosecuting individuals in Queensland and Commonwealth jurisdictions, and brought extensive firsthand experience representing governments in commissions of inquiries and as a former Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commissioner.
In my long career, I have never, ever, let extraneous irrelevant considerations enter my thinking about a decision relating to the proper exercising of powers in proceedings as a Queen’s Counsel criminal barrister or as CCC Chairperson.
Investigating corruption and major crime is inherently complex. Those who are the subject of allegations and subsequent investigations can be persons with a high public profile. They frequently hold positions of power and the consequences of charges, let alone conviction, can be particularly grave. I understand this, as do all CCC officers. However, the Queensland community rightly expects the CCC to do its statutory job, and that ultimately involves making very complex, tough and independent decisions as an investigative agency. As Chairperson, I was willing to make, and support my staff making, those independent decisions.
The CCC routinely does great work, much of which cannot be spoken about publicly. It assists the QPS solve complex crimes, protects the vulnerable to give evidence safely in court, forfeits the profits of criminals and investigates allegations of public sector corruption. Its staff are hardworking and dedicated professionals.
The role of Chairperson is challenging, and I will always consider myself to have been exceptionally privileged to have led it for the time I have.
The CCC is greater than the sum of its parts and I wish the agency every success in the future while it continues its essential role of combating major crime and reducing corruption for the benefit of all Queenslanders.
AJ MacSporran QC
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