The High Court and the Victorian Court of Appeal have today lifted suppression orders precluding disclosure of the name of Lawyer X, also known as EF and Informer 3838.
Lawyer X has been identified as Nicola Gobbo.
Nicola Gobbo became a barrister in 1998 and ceased to practice as a barrister on 30 June 2009.
In providing information to Victoria Police while a barrister, in breach of obligations of confidence she owed to clients, she committed fundamental and appalling breaches of her ethical obligations. Victoria Police also engaged in reprehensible conduct in knowingly encouraging her to commit those breaches.
Victorian Bar President, Dr Matthew Collins QC said today, “Nicola Gobbo’s conduct was egregious. All Victorian barristers are bound by a strict code of ethics under which their paramount obligation is to the administration of justice, and all are subject to a robust and rigorous disciplinary framework that applies equally to all, without fear or favour.
“The public can and should have confidence in the integrity of the State’s 2,100 practising barristers, who take their ethical obligations very seriously and have been appalled at the revelation of the breaches committed by Nicola Gobbo.
“In order to restore public confidence in the administration of criminal justice in Victoria, it is vital that there be a full investigation into how Nicola Gobbo came to be an informant, how information provided by her was deployed by Victoria Police, and how the situation was permitted to persist for such a long period of time. For that reason, the Victorian Bar welcomes the work of the Royal Commission into the Management of Informants.”