Q&As

Are recorded conversations between lay people legal and can they be used in legal proceedings?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King's Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 29/01/2020

The following Information Law Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King's Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Are recorded conversations between lay people legal and can they be used in legal proceedings?

The law relating to the recording of conversations between private individuals and the use of those recordings in court proceedings is a developing area. As a matter of first principles, there is no offence committed where an individual covertly records a conversation with another individual. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA 2000) applies to public bodies but not to individuals. Likewise, the Telecommunications (Lawful Business Practice) (Interception of Communications) Regulations 2000, SI 2000/2699, apply to businesses in respect of the recording of conversations without notice to the person being recorded or in certain specified exceptional circumstances.

The admissibility of covert recordings as evidence has been considered in several cases by the courts. In Jones v University of Warwick (which was considered in Mustard v Flower, below), an enquiry agent posed as a market researcher and gained access to the clai

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