Solicitor-Client Privilege


In a unanimous ruling issued on July 17, 2008, the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that the Privacy Commissioner of Canada cannot order the production of documents over which a claim of solicitor-client privilege is asserted. The Court ruled that the right of the individual or organization "to keep solicitor-client confidences confidential must prevail."

This decision clarifies the scope of the Commissioner's investigatory power. In short, the Personal INformation Protection and Electronic Documents Act does not grant the Commissioner authority to compel production of privileged documents, even for the limited purpose of determinign whether privilege is properly claimed.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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