An exploratory study of noble cause corruption: The Wood Royal Commission New South Wales, Australia 1994-1997
Merrington, S, Lauchs, M, Bell, P & Keast, R 2014, 'An exploratory study of noble cause corruption: The Wood Royal Commission New South Wales, Australia 1994-1997', International Journal of Management and Administrative Sciences, vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 18-29.
Published version available from:
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 explored the nature of noble cause corruption using statements and evidence given by police officers in the Wood Royal Commission (1994-1997). The overall findings are that officers involved in corrupt practices suffered from a failure of leadership and from a lack of inclusion. Officers were motivated to indulge in noble cause corruption through a desire to produce convictions where they believed the system unfairly worked against their ability to do their job correctly. This perception was supported by a culture of exclusion, which depicted police as a victimised group which was stigmatised and oppressed by the judicial system and the community.To deter police from engaging in noble cause corruption, strong leadership, better equipment and long-term incentives are suggested to minimise this type of behaviour within the police organization.