[News] Former Labor attorney-general John Hatzistergos selected as ICAC chief

The former NSW Labor attorney-general John Hatzistergos has been selected to be the next commissioner of the state’s corruption watchdog as part of a major changing of the guard at the integrity agency.

A five-person independent panel has recommended to the Perrottet government that Hatzistergos, a long-serving NSW Labor MP who was also a senior minister until Labor lost power in 2011, replace outgoing Independent Commission Against Corruption chief commissioner Peter Hall, QC, whose term is due to expire.

Former Labor attorney-general, John Hatzistergos in 2010.

Former Labor attorney-general, John Hatzistergos in 2010.Credit:Michele Mossop

Hatzistergos is a District Court judge. The panel also selected the former chief justice of the Supreme Court of the ACT Helen Murrell, SC, and Paul Lakatos, SC, a NSW District Court judge, as commissioners.

A spokesman for Premier Dominic Perrottet said the selection panel, headed by former NSW Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, unanimously recommended the appointments to the ICAC.

“The cabinet supported these recommendations and, in line with statutory requirements, these recommendations now proceed to the NSW Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on ICAC for either ratification or veto,” the spokesman said.

The tenure of Hall, along with Stephen Rushton, SC, and Patricia McDonald, SC, is due to end in August after a seven-year term.

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Hatzistergos will take over the reins at the commission after a tumultuous time for the integrity agency, which has come under intense scrutiny including from former prime minister Scott Morrison.

Morrison repeatedly used the term kangaroo court to describe the ICAC in his opposition to establishing a federal integrity body, which became an election issue in last month’s poll.

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