Legal Professional Privilege – Julian Assange – an Important Issue gets Lost

Whoever said Commonwealth Law Conferences were dull and boring has obviously never attended one.

The mix of people, cultures, attitudes and experiences of Law, society, cultures and politics always makes for intriguing interactions always makes for intriguing interactions and discussions sometimes most forthright.

This year’s conference in Glasgow, Scotland had a greet range topics and discussions across 4 broad streams.

Political issues often surface. Perhaps the most interesting tangent at this year’s conference was the address to one conference stream session by way of a video linked discussion involving Julian Assange in which he contributed his thoughts government intelligence surveillance and sharing and its impact on legal professional privilege.

Needless to say, his appearance by video link from his place of refuge in a London embassy, caused both discussion and angst amongst conference delegates.

Many judges felt obliged to leave the conference as a consequence of his involvement. An interesting media report of his appearance at the conference appears at
http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/apr/16/julian-assange-speech-prompts-judges-boycott-legal-conference

It is, to me for pity the media gave so much more attention to Julian Assange’s video attendance/participation in the conference and that many judges feeling the need to withdraw from the donference, given the involvement of Mr Assange, than to the actual and important issue of the extent of surveillance of private email traffic impact on legal professional privilege and communication by lawyers with clients.