NSW watchdog accused of judge shopping

The NSW corruption watchdog reportedly used the same court registrar at least 10 times to authorise raids on politicians, a crown prosecutor, businessmen and public officials, prompting an accusation of "judge shopping".

The Australian reports that Independent Commission Against Corruption investigators sought authorisations from registrar Stephen Lister even as he moved from Newtown Local Court - not the closest court to ICAC's city headquarters - to the Downing Centre in the city.

Leading Sydney defence barrister Robert Newlinds, who has worked for ICAC as a counsel-assisting and represented clients in cases against the commission, questioned the practice.

"It raises questions about whether ICAC is judge shopping and whether, if they are, that is an appropriate practice for an organisation like ICAC or whether they should simply be putting their applications before whichever magistrate is next available," he said.

An ICAC spokeswoman rejected any suggestion the commission had engaged in judge shopping.

The newspaper said it was not suggesting Mr Lister engaged in any wrongdoing by authorising search warrants for ICAC.