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Report No. 88

10.17. Categorisation not favoured in England.-

There is probably no category of documents such that courts will never order a document failing within it to be disclosed.1-2

It may be that, in practice, the fact that the document relates to a particular subject may induce the court to accord to that document a higher sanctity than to other documents of a more routine character. In this way, the nature of the document may be one of the relevant considerations in coming to a conclusion as to how far it deserves protection on the ground of injury to the public interest. But the formulation of the rule in abstract terms is not affected by this aspect, though it may be useful in spelling out, in more concrete and visible form, that which is indicated in abstract terms by a general rule. If one were to prepare a digest of reported cases, such a classification would perhaps be convenient as furnishing a label under which to arrange the discussion. Beyond that, classes may not necessarily furnish a basis for devising legal categories.

1. Lord Fraser in Science Research Council v. Nasse, (1979) 3 WLR 784.

2. See also para. 10.18, infra.

Governmental Privilege in Evidence - Sections 123, 124 and 162 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and Articles 74 and 163 of the Constitution Back

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