Can I see the notes?…..issues raised by enforcement proceedings.

In the recent case of Wilson v Harrison [2012] VSC 404, the Supreme Court of Victoria has considered an application by a Defendant to inspect notes taken by a “Prosecutor”, of a conversation with a potential witness. The proceeding involves an allegation that the Defendants failed to obtain building permits.

The case raises interesting questions with respect to the duties owed by prosecutors when acting on behalf of local councils. The case concerns matters commonly confronted by local council enforcement officers, and their legal advisers, when obtaining witness statements from members of the community. The Court did not need to decide the ultimate question of whether notes taken by prosectors are privileged. However, we are all on notice that this issue may arise when prosecuting and defending these matters. I recommend reading the judgement.