Adversarial Litigation System of the Commonwealth

1142 Words Feb 19th, 2018 5 Pages
In the context of civil litigation, privilege refers to the ability to withhold specified documents (despite disclosing them) on relevant legal grounds such as the Evidence Act, Civil Procedure Act, Uniform Civil Procedure Rules (UCPR) and common law. This essay shall explore the quite unique public policy basis for privilege and in particular consider the requirements for assessing this privilege as well as the constant battle between the preservation of public policy and smooth litigation proceedings.

In civil litigation, Public interest immunity (PII, previously known as Crown Privilege) is among the three main types of privilege alongside client legal professional privilege and negotiation privilege. It usually arises when crown documents are subpoenaed for evidence in which case the judges of the case reserve the right to inspect the document and decide from there. The basis for this type of privilege relies on considering both the disclosure and non-disclosure of documents in question by a judge, in relation to balancing the preservation of public order and the integrity of the litigation proceeding including individual freedom of information. As previously mentioned, parties in litigation may make a claim for PII through not only legislation but also the common law.

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