Legal profession has been founded for primary reason of upholding justice in the society. Problems are also inevitable in a free country. In the legal context, there are conflicting interests that cannot be avoided. Nonetheless, laws and policies have been shaped in order to address these conflicting interests and put a balance as to the rights of every citizen. It is also noteworthy that the judicial department and the legal profession as a whole cannot accommodate the entire legal matters lodge before it.
Hence, the state deemed it necessary to establish administrative offices to help the department in order that justice be afforded to every individual needing it. By this reason also, the office created to aid in the administration of justice has been granted with necessary powers to carry out its obligations effectively. Likewise in legal profession, the lawyers are obligated to uphold justice and to serve the people and the society as a whole. In doing so, the legal professionals extend their legal expertise to those in need.
Basically, the lawyers are mandated to protect the interest of their clients but have to do it in regard to justice. Significantly, clients run to lawyers in order to ask for assistance with regard to their legal problems. The client’s decision to resort to legal expert is coupled with the confidence and trust. Confidence is the sense that that the client believes that his burden would be lightened by the advice of the lawyer and at the same time trusts the lawyer as to the confidentiality of their communication.
Notably, privacy is also respected. Hence, there is a fiduciary contract that exists at the very instance the client sought advice form the lawyer. Through time, the fiduciary was protected by the solicitor-client privilege. The confidentiality of the communication between the lawyer and the client has been variously supported. In the legal profession, confidentiality of the matters that bound the lawyers and the client is of vital importance because of the trust that the client has commended to the lawyer.
Besides, without trust and confidentiality, there is no guarantee that the lawyer can be trusted in protecting the interest of the client. Aside from that, the common law also supports the confidentiality of the communication between the two because of pubic interest that is at stake. The dignity of the legal profession would be tainted if the secrets of the citizens would not be protected. Consequently, justice would not be served well. While confidentiality is uphold in legal profession, such claim for confidentiality should be based on justifiable reasons.
More importantly, where determination of justice is at stake, confidentiality should be compromised. This may be based on practice and under common law. Interestingly, with the enactment of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), the privacy of the information of an individual taken by an entity, public or private has been assured of utmost privacy. Meanwhile, the free flow of information is an inevitable process and activity in the society.
At the same time, individuals have the right to demand this information when needed. Conversely, any entity can withheld such information for reason of necessity. This material conflict in the information sharing has, indeed, to be balanced in order to serve the best interest of justice. For such purpose, the PIPEDA has been founded to weigh and balance the conflicts. However, through the recent decision of the Supreme Court, the purpose of PIPEDA may have been