The Fitzgerald Legacy: Reforming Public Life in Australia and Beyond

Edited by Colleen Lewis, Janet Ransley, and Ross Homel

Monash University, Griffith University

Twenty years ago, the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct, commonly referred to as the Fitzgerald Inquiry after its chair Mr G.E. (Tony) Fitzgerald, QC, tabled its findings in the Queensland Parliament after an exhaustive and sensational two years of public investigation. It was the fifth inquiry into police related matters in Queensland in 25 years, and originally expected by the government of the day to last about six weeks. Its findings and recommendations continue to have a significant effect on many aspects of public life in Queensland and beyond. The Fitzgerald Inquiry blueprint for reform has influenced police and public sector reform in other Australian States and internationally. This edited collection recalls the events that led up to the Fitzgerald Inquiry and examines the extraordinary influence the 'watershed' inquiry has had on police and public sector reform at the state, national and international levels. It assesses the extent to which the inquiry's vision for reform has been implemented, and whether it is still a viable reform agenda for contemporary governance problems

About the Author

Colleen Lewis is an Associate Professor in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University. Her major research interests include police accountability, complaints against police, police-government relations and models of oversight bodies such as anti-corruption commissions, integrity commissions, ombudsmen and crime commissions. She has contributed widely to a number of highly regarded research publications in the area of policing.

Janet Ransley lectures in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University. She is a member of the Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance, and an associate investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security. She worked previously in legal practice, and was the inaugural Director of Research for the Parliamentary Committee for Electoral and Administrative Review. Her PhD thesis dealt with the investigative role of royal commissions. She has published in the areas of police reform, inquiries and court processes, and is currently part of research teams investigating policy responses for immigration detainees, illicit drug regulation and counter-terrorism.

Ross Homel AO is Foundation Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, and Director of the Griffith Institute for Social and Behavioural Research, a virtual network of over 100 academic staff in the social and behavioural sciences. He has held senior research management positions within Griffith University since 1993 including as Director of the highly successful Australian Research Council Key Centre for Ethics, Law, Justice and Governance between 2004 and 2007. He was responsible (with Jan Carter) for establishing a national set of research priorities to advance the wellbeing of children and young people and for setting up a new Australian Research Council research network, while undertaking a half time role with the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth in 2002 and 2003. Between 1994 and 1999 he was a part time Commissioner for the Queensland Criminal Justice Commission. He is Vice-President of the Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS), a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a member of the Academy Executive, and has won numerous awards for his research on the prevention of crime, violence and injuries. Professor Homel's accomplishments were recognised in January 2008 when he was appointed an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AO) 'for service to education, particularly in the field of criminology, through research into the causes of crime, early intervention and prevention methods'. In May 2008 he was recognised with an award from the Premier of Queensland as a 'Queensland Great', 'for his contribution to Queensland's reputation for research excellence, the development of social policy and justice reform and helping Queensland's disadvantaged communities'. In December 2008, he was shortlisted for 2009 Australian of the Year.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Foreword
  • Tony Fitzgerald
  • Chapter 1 The State We Were In
  • Colleen Lewis, Janet Ransley & Ross Homel
  • Chapter 2 Fitzgerald: A Model Investigative Inquiry?
  • Janet Ransley
  • Chapter 3 Exploring the Limits: Media as Watchdog in Queensland
  • Julianne Schultz
  • Chapter 4 Crime and Misconduct Commission: Moving Away from Fitzgerald
  • Colleen Lewis
  • Chapter 5 EARC: A Short-term Experiment in Permanent Reform?
  • Janet Ransley
  • Chapter 6 Depoliticising Policing: Reviewing and Registering Police Reforms
  • Colleen Lewis
  • Chapter 7 Changing the Approach: Structural Reform in the Queensland Police Force
  • Jenny Fleming
  • Chapter 8 The Evolution of Human Resource Management in Policing
  • Jacqueline M. Drew and Tim Prenzler
  • Chapter 9 'Unusual Industrial Organisations': Police Unions, Fitzgerald and Reform
  • Richard Evans
  • Chapter 10 The Reformative Powers of Higher Education for Policing?
  • Kerry Wimshurst
  • Chapter 11 The Renewal of Parliament: A Fitzgerald Legacy?
  • Noel Preston
  • Chapter 12 Freedom of Information (FoI) in Queensland and its Fitzgerald Origins
  • David Solomon
  • Chapter 13 Global Lessons from Fitzgerald: From State and National to Global Integrity Systems
  • Charles Sampford
  • List of Contributors
  • Index