As the identity of Informer 3838 remains under wraps, the royal commission into police informants exposes a scandal that worsens by the day

It’s a matter of pride for lawyers that they are free and able to work both sides of the street. In particular the cab-rank rule for barristers dictates as much. One day as a prosecutor, next for an accused; for the state and against it. And in the civil sphere there’s much swapping of hats while working for plaintiffs and alternatively for defendants.

Now we have the Victorian police informer and former barrister known variously as Lawyer X, Informer 3838 or in judicial proceedings as EF, working “both sides of the street” to new and previously unexplored levels. She was shopping her clients to the police who were prosecuting them, notably when she acted as counsel for Melbourne crime figure Tony Mokbel and his associates while simultaneously providing information to the police about her clients. About eight years ago Victoria police paid her almost $2.9m in compensation for her troubles.

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Read More Deeper, wider, longer: lawyer X inquiry reveals corruption of justice system | Richard Ackland

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