Unlike the privilege attaching to journalists’ sources, as defined in the recent Supreme Court case discussed below, the privilege attaching to police informers is absolute. An agent of the state is never required, and indeed is bound not to, reveal the source of information and, save for one exception, in a  criminal prosecution any information tending to reveal the identity of a confidential source is suppressed. The exception is called the “innocence at stake”  scenario when the defence can establish that the informer was so close to the commission of the crime charged that their testimony might  exonerate the accused. In the rare instances that a criminal defence lawyer can establish this basis, the prosecution still is not required to reveal the informer’s identity: they have the choice of making the source available as a witness or dropping the case aganst the accused without revealing the informer.