Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

7 Nov, 2014

UK spies admit eavesdropping on lawyer-client communications – The Independent

MI5 and GCHQ have for years operated a policy allowing their staff to intercept communications between lawyers and their clients and use the legally protected material “like any other intelligence”, according to documents released today.

The Government has for months resisted legal attempts by two Libyan victims of rendition to force it to disclose whether it sanctions intelligence agents to eavesdrop on lawyer-client communications after arguing that disclosure of its policy would damage national security.

But documents now disclosed in the case confirm for the first time that the intelligence services allow staff to “in principle target the communications of lawyers” and use the resulting material for covert work, including disclosing it to “an outside body”.

The principle of legal professional privilege (LPP), which allows advice and discussions between lawyers and their clients to remain confidential, is one of the oldest and considered as one of the most inviolable in the English legal system.

Read the rest: Government admits secret services eavesdrop on lawyer-client communications – UK Politics – UK – The Independent.