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In law, communication between parties to a confidential relation such that the communication's recipient is exempted from disclosing it as a witness. Communications between attorney and client are privileged and do not have to be disclosed to the court. The right to privileged communication also exists between husbands and wives, as neither is required to testify against the other in court, and between physicians and patients, though doctors may be required to disclose such information if the right of the defendant to receive a fair trial outweighs the patient's right to confidentiality. Members of the clergy have limited rights to refuse to testify in court, and reporters have been accorded a limited right to privileged communication concerning the sources of their information, though they can be ordered to divulge information in certain circumstances.
Variants of PRIVILEGED COMMUNICATION
privileged communication or confidential communication
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on privileged communication, visit Britannica.com.