While NSW's corruption watchdog has made corruption findings against a string of powerful and influential individuals including former state MPs, convicting them could prove difficult.

After months of sensational hearings, the watchdog has referred former Labor mining minister Ian Macdonald, party powerbroker Eddie Obeid, his son Moses and others for possible criminal charges.

But a legal expert says the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) could have a tough time gathering enough evidence to convict after a corruption inquiry.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) on Wednesday recommended charges be laid against the two former MPs, accused murderer Ron Medich, businessmen including Travers Duncan and John McGuigan as well as members of the Obeid family.

Most have already flagged their intention to fight the allegations.

Eddie Obeid and Mr Macdonald say they may seek a judicial review of the findings - which means the matter could be heard by a Supreme Court judge.

ICAC will now prepare briefs of evidence for the office of the DPP, whose solicitors will decide whether there is admissible evidence available - a process that could take months.

They'll then advise on possible charges and whether there's enough admissible evidence to prove them.

The catch is that much of the evidence in ICAC hearings is given under objection, meaning any admissions of corruption by a witness can't be used against that witness in criminal proceedings.

"It's meant to get really direct, honest answers out of witnesses," Law Society NSW President John Dobson told AAP.

"In some respects it makes the cause of the DPP harder."

Any criminal investigation that sought to rely on information volunteered under objection to ICAC would only be possible if that information could be found outside the hearing room, Mr Dobson said.

"You'd have to really establish that it was really independent from what's been given, and even then you'd be pushing the envelope," he said.

Perjury charges, by contrast, can rely on evidence given to ICAC under objection - making it possible that the more honest a witness is on the stand, the less material the DDP can later use against him.

 

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