An information notice cannot require you:
- to provide privileged information; or
- to produce the privileged part of a document.
Information or a document is privileged if a claim to legal professional privilege on the grounds of the confidentiality of communications between a professional legal adviser and client could be maintained in legal proceedings.
This is a complex area of the law but, broadly speaking, privilege attaches to:
- documents containing confidential communications between lawyer and client for the purpose of obtaining or giving legal advice; and
- documents produced for the purpose of contemplated or actual litigation.
Documents may contain some information that is privileged and some that is not. Where you do not wish to produce a part of a document that is privileged, you can produce a copy of the part which is not protected (and the protected parts should be covered up). See RSTP2017. The original document must be made available for production or inspection if required.
Special rules apply in relation to disputes about privileged communications – see RSTP2014 for further guidance.