Privilege prevents evidence from being disclosed. In criminal litigation the two types of privilege that may be claimed are legal professional privilege and the privilege against self incrimination.
Legal professional privilege
This protects the communications between lawyer and client in connection with obtaining and giving legal advice as per s 101 PACE. Information protected by this privilege includes letters, memos and communications with counsel. In formation between lawyer, client and a third party are also protected where this is in connection with pending litigation including communication with an expert witness. Although this privilege is strictly enforced it can be waived by the client.
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Privilege against self incrimination
This protects the defendant from answering questions on oath that would lead to a criminal charge being laid against them. The privilege is not an absolute right and may be waived under Art 6 ECHR where it is not in the public interest for the privilege to apply.
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