Another One Bites the Dust! Bolstered Law Offices and a Blocked Taxman in Chambre Des Notaires Du Québec
(2017) 81 Supreme Court Law Review (2D), Forthcoming
18 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2017 Last revised: 1 Dec 2017
Date Written: October 19, 2017
By constitutionalizing solicitor-client privilege, the Supreme Court of Canada has powerfully reinforced the importance of this concept to the proper functioning of our legal system and has given itself a new tool to protect the lawyer-client relationship from state interference. But, now, with more than a decade of this constitutionalization behind us, it is becoming more and more apparent that individual Charter rights, such as sections 7 and 8, are an awkward mechanism to insulate the lawyer-client relationship from government interference.
This paper explores the Court’s treatment of solicitor-client privilege under section 8 in Canada (Attorney General) v. Chambre des notaires du Québec. It concludes that the Court’s analysis in Chambre des notaires confirms that attempting to insulate the lawyer-client relationship from government interference by using individual Charter rights results in some awkward jurisprudential gymnastics and argues that a more robust engagement with the principle of lawyer independence will be necessary going forward.
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