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The Victorian government established this Royal Commission on 13 December 2018, after the High Court of Australia upheld the decisions of Victorian courts to allow the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to disclose to a group of convicted persons that Victoria Police had used former defence barrister, Ms Nicola Gobbo, as a human source.

As part of its inquiry, the Royal Commission examined the number of, and extent to which, cases may have been affected by the conduct of Ms Nicola Gobbo, a criminal defence barrister who was, at various times between 1 January 1995 and 13 January 2009, acting as a police informant with Victoria Police.  She was referred to as 'EF' in court cases, informant '3838' and other informant numbers by Victoria Police, and was often referred to as 'Lawyer X' in the media.

In addition, the Commission examined the adequacy and effectiveness of Victoria Police’s current processes for disclosures about recruiting, handling and managing human sources who are subject to legal obligations of confidentiality or privilege, including any informants who come to the Commission’s attention during its inquiry. The Commission also examined the use of such human source information in the broader criminal justice system, including whether these procedures should be used, and if so, how they can be best implemented in the future.

The Commission’s recommendations aim to enable and support Victoria Police in its work to protect the community from criminal activity and protect the rights of individual citizens, while strengthening the operation of, and public confidence in, Victoria’s criminal justice system.

Related Information

Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants: progress report July… https://apo.org.au/node/245616

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