One of the questions which is often posed in an increasing array of matters is whether or not a recording made of a conversation (ordinarily made using a mobile phone) without the other person’s knowledge be used in court to prove a particular aspect of a matter. The short answer is that it depends on the circumstances.
It is ordinarily not a crime to record a conversation if a party to the conversation consents and the recording is reasonably necessary to protect that person’s lawful interests. In other words, is there a lawful interest which is in need of protection or contemplated at the time of the recording?
The court may also be interested in whether the details revealed by the recording could have been obtained by other means or whether, for example, the course of the conversation would have likely been different if the person being recorded had first been made aware of the intention to record. In other words, was it reasonably necessary to conceal the fact that the conversation was being recorded or could the same result have been obtained by other means?
Further, even if the making of the recording was found to be illegal, the court has a discretion to admit it as evidence anyway and in some instances, the contents of the recording may ultimately justify the court exercising that discretion and allowing the recording as to be admitted as evidence.
Finally, if you have read this far and think that you need some practical advice or assistance in relation to your situation, then now is probably the time to get in touch.
Austral Legal can help and we offer an initial discounted 30-minute SmartMove appointment for $80 by phone or in person at our office.
Bookings can be made online, or simply by phoning our office on 08 9745 9550. Once we have a handle on what is required, we may well be able to offer a fixed fee for any further legal services, giving you cost certainty from the start. Austral Legal. Practical advice.