Public Interest Privilege in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Loutchansky v Times Newspapers Ltd (No. 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 05 Dic 2001

    He can have no duty to publish unless he is acting responsibly any more than the public has an interest in reading whatever may be published irresponsibly. That is why in this class of case the question whether the publisher has behaved responsibly is necessarily and intimately bound up with the question whether the defence of qualified privilege arises. Unless the publisher is acting responsibly privilege cannot arise.

  • R v Derby Magistrates' Court, ex parte B
    • House of Lords
    • 22 Jun 1995

    It is a fundamental condition on which the administration of justice as a whole rests. It is a fundamental condition on which the administration of justice as a whole rests. Legal professional privilege is thus much more than an ordinary rule of evidence, limited in its application to the facts of a particular case. Legal professional privilege is thus much more than an ordinary rule of evidence, limited in its application to the facts of a particular case.

  • Ventouris v Mountain
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 08 Feb 1991

    The courts must not in any way encroach on the right of a litigant or potential litigant to seek and obtain legal advice on his prospects and the conduct of proceedings under the seal of confidence nor on the right of such a litigant and his legal adviser to prepare for and conduct his case without, directly or indirectly, revealing the effect of that advice.

  • ISTIL Group Inc. v Zahoor
    • Chancery Division
    • 14 Feb 2003

    In this context, the emergence of the truth is not of itself a sufficient public interest. The reason why the balancing exercise is not appropriate is because the balance between privilege and truth has already been struck in favour of the former by the establishment of the rules concerning legal professional privilege: see The Aegis Blaze [1986] 1 Lloyd's Rep 203, 211; R v. Derby Magistrates Court, ex parte B [1996] AC 487, 508.

  • Three Rivers District Council and Others v Governor and Company of the Bank of England (No 9)
    • House of Lords
    • 11 Nov 2004

    Second, if a communication or document qualifies for legal professional privilege, the privilege is absolute. It cannot be overridden by some supposedly greater public interest. It can be waived by the person, the client, entitled to it and it can be overridden by statute (c/f R (Morgan Grenfell Ltd) v Special Commissioner of Income Tax [2003] 1 AC 563), but it is otherwise absolute.

    But the dicta to which I have referred all have in common the idea that it is necessary in our society, a society in which the restraining and controlling framework is built upon a belief in the rule of law, that communications between clients and lawyers, whereby the clients are hoping for the assistance of the lawyers' legal skills in the management of their (the clients') affairs, should be secure against the possibility of any scrutiny from others, whether the police, the executive, business competitors, inquisitive busy-bodies or anyone else (see also paras. 15.8 to 15.10 of Adrian Zuckerman's Civil Procedure where the author refers to the rationale underlying legal advice privilege as "the rule of law rationale").

  • Savings & Investment Bank Ltd ((in Liquidation)) v Fincken (No 2)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 14 Nov 2003

    It is not an abuse of the privilege to tell the truth, even where the truth is contrary to one's case. That, after all, is what the without prejudice rule is all about, to encourage parties to speak frankly to one another in aid of reaching a settlement: and the public interest in that rule is very great and not to be sacrificed save in truly exceptional and needy circumstances.

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Legislation
  • Defamation Act 2013
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2013
    ...... is not defamatory unless its publication has caused or is likely to cause serious harm to ...(b) anything asserted to be a fact in a privileged statement published before the statement ... 4 (publication on matter of public interest);. . . (b) a defence under section 6 ......
  • Investigatory Powers Act 2016
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2016
    ...... in the common law offence of misconduct in public office, and . (vi) elsewhere in the law. . (6) ... (c) (c) the public interest in the integrity and security of ... (a) (a) items subject to legal privilege, . (b) (b) any information identifying or ......
  • Freedom of Information Act 2000
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2000
    ...... for the disclosure of information held by public authorities or by persons providing services for ... circumstances of the case, the public interest in. maintaining the exclusion of the duty to ... S-34 . Parliamentary privilege. 34 Parliamentary privilege. . (1) Information ......
  • Criminal Finances Act 2017
    • England & Wales
    • 1 de Enero de 2017
    ...... nature and extent of the respondent’s interest in the property in respect of which the order is ... (e) the Director of Public Prosecutions (in relation to England and Wales) ... section 361 (rights in connection with privileged information, questions and material) apply in ......
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Books & Journal Articles
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Law Firm Commentaries
  • Internal Investigations
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Many of our clients are increasingly faced with internal investigations, some with complex compliance or whistleblowing features. Our April client alert looks at some of the key considerations bef...
    ......Privilege. Legal professional privilege is always the first ...WhistLeBlowing news. Public Interest Disclosure (Protection) Bill. The UK has ......
  • Legal Professional Privilege: The New Status Quo
    • JD Supra United Kingdom
    Legal professional privilege (“LPP”) has been a feature of the common law for centuries, developed through the public interest in protecting confidentiality of communications between a lawyer and i...
    ...... a feature of the common law for centuries, developed through the public interest in protecting confidentiality of communications between a lawyer ......
  • Disciplinary Investigations and Legal Professional Privilege
    • Mondaq United Kingdom
    ...... of the right to legal professional privilege as part of the public interest in the administration of justice, and sets out guidance on the ......
  • CPRs Allow For Continued Document Redaction, Rules High Court
    • Mondaq UK
    ...... in accordance with CPR 31.14 save where privilege or public interest immunity applies; that a ......
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