1/ According to precedent, the A-G is NOT bound by solicitor-client privilege. If asked, the A-G must provide the House of Commons the advice she gave to the government. There's a precedent for this, and it’s recent: Brexit #cdnpoli

2/ This past fall, the British government would not release the legal advice from UK A-G Geoffrey Cox regarding Brexit. UK A-G Cox also refused to release the legal advice he provided to the government.


3/ On Dec. 3, 2018, Speaker Bercow ruled the government was likely in contempt of the Commons. The next day, the Commons voted to hold the government in contempt. The gov’t and A-G Cox then released the advice publicly.

4/ There is also a precedent in Speaker Milliken's ruling on Afghan records. The gov't refused to release uncensored documents b/c of national security concerns. Milliken ruled the gov't had to release uncensored documents requested by the Commons.

5/ Bercow’s ruling is based in the privileges, immunities and powers of the UK House of Commons. The Canadian House of Commons inherited the UK’s privileges, immunities and powers in Section 18 of the Constitution Act, 1867.
6/ While some of the privileges, immunities and powers of our HofC have evolved differently from those of the UK since 1867, Milliken’s ruling seems to confirm that wrt the gov’t’s obligation to provide information to the Commons both Parliaments have evolved similar conventions.
7/ So, gov’t can’t use solicitor-client privilege or nat’l security to withhold info from the HofC. The House of Commons is a high court of the land, with ancient rights. The questions are, will the Speaker protect those rights? Will members stand up & use them to clear the air?
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