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Type: Journal article
Title: Lawyers, confidentiality and whistleblowing: lessons from the McCabe tobacco litigation
Author: Parker, C.
Le Mire, S.
Mackay, A.
Citation: Melbourne University Law Review, 2017; 40(3):999-1056
Publisher: Melbourne University Law Review Association
Issue Date: 2017
ISSN: 0025-8938
Statement of
Christine Parker, Suzanne Le Mire and Anita Mackay
Abstract: In 2006, Christopher Dale leaked information about Clayton Utz’s internal investigation into the events surrounding the destruction of documents that would have been relevant and damaging to their client, British American Tobacco, in the 2002 McCabe litigation. This article uses this case study to examine whether lawyers can and should act as whistleblowers against colleagues and clients who abuse the administration of justice. We argue that although lawyers must have strong obligations of confidentiality to clients and others, their role as gatekeepers of justice also demands that they be allowed to blow the whistle when they have information about clients or other lawyers using legal services to subvert the administration of justice, and be protected when they do so. The article evaluates the circumstances in which such whistleblowing is appropriate and makes suggestions about how the law should be reformed by reference to three touchstones: the nature of the relationship between the lawyer and the wrongdoer; the nature of the wrongdoing itself; and, the process used to disclose the wrongdoing.
Keywords: McCabe; litigation; whistleblowing
Rights: Copyright Status Unknown
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest 8
Law publications

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