Skip navigation
The Australian National University

About TRIC

On 19 October 2010, Professor Adam Graycar inaugurated the Transnational Research Institute on Corruption (TRIC).

TRIC is a virtual institution with a mission to conduct research on public corruption and devise ways to reduce it.

The study of corruption is a multidisciplinary activity. Scholars of corruption are found in Law, Economics, Political Science, Philosophy, Public Administration, Environmental Studies, National Security Studies, Development Studies, Criminology, Business Studies, Sociology, Anthropology and more. Many people at the ANU work in areas where corruption studies are relevant. In addition to the discipline areas listed above, substantive areas such as forestry policy, justice administration, environment policy, public health, water policy, pharmaceuticals, energy, banking, education policy and more are all ripe areas for academic study of corruption.

As well as discipline studies and policy studies, area studies also provide a base for the study of corruption, such as corruption in the Pacific Islands and Eastern Europe.

Corruption is the abuse of public office for private gain. The World Bank estimates that one trillion dollars per year is paid in illegal bribes, and about $40 billion is looted each year by corrupt officials. Corruption follows opportunity and is both local and global. Corruption hurts people, disrupts communities and societies, and has great personal and economic costs. Corruption includes bribery, misappropriation, extortion, patronage, self-dealing (hiring one’s friends or one’s own companies to provide funded services), job manipulation and state capture.

Corruption studies at ANU focus on both the global arena as well as on domestic activities. While most look to poorer countries as being entrenched in corruption we should not ignore our own backyard. Three states have anti-corruption agencies. Tasmania has announced it will establish one, and there is pressure for one in Victoria and in South Australia. The Commonwealth has recently appointed a Commissioner for Law Enforcement Integrity, and the Commonwealth Ombudsman has a strong interest in corruption research and prevention.

Management Team

In 2014, TRIC restructured to accommodate future developments. The Director, Professor Adam Graycar has asked Associate Professor Kath Hall from the Australian National University College of Law and Grant Walton from the College of Asia and the Pacific to become Deputy Directors. Both Kath and Grant have extensive experience researching and teaching anti-corruption.

While TRIC is located in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, it remains a cross disciplinary institution within the Australian National University. The appointment of deputy directors from two other colleges reflects the ongoing recognition that solutions to corruption can be drawn from all areas of the academy.

Deputy Director (Law)

Dr Kath Hall is an Associate Professor at the Australian National University College of Law. She has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Mongolia, Jakarta, Manila and London. Kath's research demonstrates a strong theoretical and practical understanding of the complexities involved in regulating global corporations, transnational corruption and global law firms. In 2012 – 2014, Kath is a non-residential Fellow at Harvard University's Edmond J Safra Center for Ethics, researching the role of global lawyers in the development of transnational anti-corruption regulation. She is also the Director of an Australian National University / Department of Foreign Affiars and Trade project in Myanmar. Currently Kath is working on a number of research projects on private sector whistleblowing and the psychology of corruption. In the College of Law Kath teaches Corporations Law, Transnational Anti-Corruption Law and Corporate Governance. Kath has also published extensively on the psychology of corporate misconduct.

Deputy Director (International Development)

Grant Walton is a Research Fellow for the Development Policy Centre at the Crawford School of Public Policy.  He brings a Human Geographer's approach to researching issues related to corruption, international development, civil society, and the environment.  Grant’s PhD thesis, undertaken at the University of Melbourne, compared anti-corruption actors and citizens’ perspectives on corruption in Papua New Guinea.

Over the past decade, Grant has conducted research in Papua New Guinea, Liberia and Afghanistan for international donors and non-governmental organisations. Prior to joining the Development Policy Centre Grant worked as a lecturer for the University of Melbourne, and worked for NGOs and the U4 anti-corruption resource centre. Grant has published in academic journals and books and has authored major reports for donors and NGOs. His comments about a range of development issues, including corruption, have been featured in the media across the Pacific.  His regular blogs for the Development Policy Centre can be found here.

Grant is currently working on the Development Policy Centre’s Promoting Effective Public Expenditure (PEPE) project, which investigates the effectiveness of public expenditure in PNG. His research interests include:

• Corruption
• Anti-Corruption policy
• International development
• Collective action
• Human geography
• Public expenditure tracking
• Civil society
• The Pacific and PNG
• The social and environmental impacts of extractive industries

Updated: 12 September 2014/ Responsible Officer:  Institute Director / Page Contact:  Web Publisher