Group B+ proposal on attorney privilege
This submission to IP Australia regarding the draft WIPO explanatory report and draft agreement on client attorney privilege (CAP) described above is made by the Intellectual Property Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia (the Committee).
The Committee supports the need for a coordinated cross-border approach to the issue of CAP. As such, the Committee is fully supportive of the objectives which the draft agreement seeks to achieve. If the draft agreement were adopted in its present form, it would provide a common framework for the protection of CAP amongst Signatory States. This would be a significant improvement on the current position. However, the Committee considers that there are a number of improvements that could be made to the drafting of the draft agreement. These suggested improvements are set out below.
In providing these suggestions, the Committee recognises that IP Australia may take the view that reopening substantive drafting at this stage may be more likely to hinder rather than facilitate further progress. The Committee also recognises that some drafting which appears unnecessarily confusing from the perspective of Australian law and practice may have been incorporated for a specific reason having regard to local laws in other proposed member states. It is also recognised that treaties necessarily involve some degree of compromise. The Committee makes the suggestions set out below in that context.