Client Legal Privilege

For Government Solicitors

Does the common law or the Evidence Act apply?

  • The Uniform Evidence Acts only apply to legal proceedings. If you are considering privilege outside legal proceedings, the common law applies (s 4 of the Evidence Act).
  • The Client Legal Privilege provisions of the NSW and Commonwealth Evidence Acts do not apply to the same aspects of proceedings. Client Legal Privilege under the NSW Evidence Act applies to adducing of evidence (ss 118 and 119) and certain preliminary proceedings including subpoenas, discovery, interrogatories and notices to produce (s 131A). However, Client Legal Privilege under the Commonwealth Evidence Act only applies to adducing evidence (ss 118 and 119). The common law applies to preliminary proceedings such as discovery and subpoenas.


Scroll down for chart.