Lawyers should not be informers!

Lawyers Informers legislation

It has been widely reported in The Age that new informant legislation risks re-run of the Nicola Gobbo Scandal. For the uninitiated, the Nicola Gobbo scandal was the media firestorm that erupted after it became clear that the arrests made into drug trafficking and murder connected to Carl Williams and associates were not the result of old fashioned detective work, but rather the emergence of an informer, a barrister who turned on her own clients and got them into trouble with the police all the while purporting to defend them in court.


Lawyers should not be informers

It goes without saying that this situation was an epic calamity of gigantic proportions. It should never have happened; it perverted the course of justice to the absolute maximum extent possible. But now that it has happened, it should never be allowed to happen again. Yet for reasons that escape rational contemplation, the Victorian Government appears to be introducing laws that will allow this sad tale to happen again, and again, and again.

Under the new laws, police will have discretion to register lawyers as human sources against their own clients. These lawyers turned informers will no doubt struggle to demonstrate this discretion to be the better part of valour.

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