“[W]hile Article 8 [of the European Convention on Human Rights1] protects the confidentiality of all ‘correspondence’ between individuals, it affords strengthened protection to exchanges between lawyers and their clients. This is justified by the fact that lawyers are assigned a fundamental role in a democratic society, that of defending litigants. Lawyers cannot carry out this essential task if they are unable to guarantee to those they are defending that their exchanges will remain confidential. It is the relationship of trust between them, essential to the accomplishment of that mission, that is at stake. Indirectly but necessarily dependent thereupon is the right of everyone to a fair trial, including the right of accused persons not to incriminate themselves.
Read the European Court’s new factsheet on legal professional privilege here