Deborah Cornwall reported this story on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

MARK COLVIN: The New South Wales Crown prosecutor at the centre of an ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) inquiry over claims that she perverted the course of justice today launched a legal challenge against the watchdog.

Margaret Cunneen SC is accusing the corruption commission of exceeding its jurisdiction.

She’s one of the state’s most high profile prosecutors and she’s been called before the ICAC next Monday.

Ms Cunneen’s been accused of advising her son’s girlfriend to pretend she had chest pains to avoid being breathalysed by police.

The former West Australian Attorney-General Jim McGinty spoke to Deborah Cornwall about the controversy.

JIM MCGINTY: When anti-corruption bodies are effective is when you have those that they’re investigating squealing the loudest.

DEBORAH CORNWALL: The inspector of the ICAC, David Levine QC, he has deemed this a very unusual case, so clearly this is not the kind of material that’s generally deemed worthy of an inquiry.

JIM MCGINTY: It might be unusual; every case has got its own unusual characteristics. But the fact that the person concerned is a very high profile, very senior public servant responsible for law enforcement in New South Wales I think means that there is an enormous public interest in ensuring that these matters are properly aired and dealt with.

Now sometimes, one of the downsides to all of this is that reputations suffer. Now maybe that’s the price we pay for ensuring the highest standards of integrity in our public sector.