Conway v Rimmer [1968]

House
of Lords unanimously reversed what it had unanimously held in 1942.
Probationer
Privy Council prosecuted by Police for larceny.
Acquitted.
Brought
claim for malicious prosecution.
In
attempt to prove malice, applied for discovery of 5 reports about himself in
police records.
Both
parties wished this evidence to be produced.
But
Home Secretary imposed claim of ‘class’ privilege –
Confidential
reports on conduct of Police Officers were class of documents production of
which would be against public interest.
House
of Lords ordered production of documents.
Crown
privilege may be granted on two grounds:
1.
Would be against public interest to disclose contents of doc(s) in question.
2.
Document belongs to class of documents
which ought to be withheld, regardless of whether there is anything in
particular document disclosure of which might be against public interest.
Present
case concerns class claim.
Court
has duty to weigh public interest of justice to litigants against public
interest asserted by government.