The Canadian Bar Association has released a discussion paper by Ottawa law prof Adam Dodek, “Solicitor-Client Privilege in Canada, Challenges for the 21st Century” [PDF]. Although, as Professor Dodek says, the privilege has evolved into a “quasi-constitutional right,” its future is far from clear or, indeed, secure. From the conclusion to the 50-page paper:
As the CBA’s interventions with governments demonstrate, legislative intrusions on the Privilege are frequent, possibly more so. We live in an increasingly globalized legal world and Canadian law on the Privilege differs in significant respects from other jurisdictions which are important both in terms of their influence on Canadian law and our clients’ interactions. Moreover, the law and practice in these jurisdictions, especially the United States, shows that in Canada there are many Privilege issues that remain unresolved. Finally, changes in society and in the practice law will generate more questions for the Privilege than answers. The challenge for the CBA is to consider how this ancient concept which is a fundamental part of the administration of justice should apply and adapt to the changes of the 21st century
I’ve reproduced an image of the table of contents, below.