I keep getting asked about lawyer X, so in a nut shell, here is a brief outline.
Last week the defence barrister at the centre of the Victorian Royal Commission investigation regarding Police Informants was named.
For obvious reasons, Victorian Police sought the identity of Lawyer X to be suppressed. But why was she named? Well simply put, whilst all lawyers have a paramount duty to the Court, we also have a duty to our client and to serve them ensuring they receive a fair trial and representation within the parameters of the law. These obligations are a balance and providing confidential information to another that is privileged is a clear breach of a legal duty.
It is alleged that lawyer X provided information on more than 300 cases to Victoria Police that led to various arrests and convictions of some very high-profile cases. An accused has a right to discuss matters with a legal representative without fear, knowing that the confidential discussion will not somehow be provided to another. The Law requires that your legal representatives act in a client’s best interest and avoid any conflicts. Having privileged information and disclosing such information is providing a disadvantage and a clear breach of duty to a client, save for future physical harm or crimes.
The public perception of the legal profession also played a major part in the decision of the High Court last week to reveal the identity of Lawyer X. As the public expect police to uphold the law, so to, it is expected that client’s can confide in lawyers and that we act in their best interests. Otherwise, confidence in the legal system would be seen as flawed and then, where does that leave democracy? Therefore, naming Lawyer X was a must, as instilling confidence in the legal profession by Judicial Officers was required for the benefit of the entire legal system, democracy and public perception. Contact us for further discussion.