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Report No. 93

5.6. Obiter dicta in Supreme Court case (Canada).-

However, it should, at the same time, be mentioned that in one case (not relating to journalists) decided by the Supreme Court of Canada, there are obiter dicta which suggest that even outside the relationship of lawyer and client, the doctrine of privilege to protect confidential relationship may receive some encouragement from the judiciary. In that case, a University Professor in Alberta claimed privilege for certain assertions about a college, these were assertions which he had set out in a confidential document sent to the Department Chairman as a part of the proceedings of the university for the consideration of tenure. After quoting the well-known "four fundamental conditions" given by Wigmore for the recognition of evidentiary privilege, the Supreme Court of Canada held that assuming the applicability of evidentiary privilege in the litigation, "the confidential document should have been ruled inadmissible under the doctrine of privilege as so able considered in Wigmore."

However, the court held that the particular facts at bar did not invoke the law of evidence.1

1. Slavuiych v. Baker, (1976) 1 SCR 254 (260, 261) (Supreme Court of Canada).



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