Sunday, 5 February 2017

The privacy and the law of proof

An audio of a conversation between parties to a contract can undoubtedly be a proof in a litigation amid them but does it matter whether both parties knew it was recorded? 
The decision on the case before the Supreme Court eventually depended on the answer to the question above. The litigation was about a money debt and there were several loans between the parties, some of them had peen successfully paid back but one had been not. Unfortunately for the plaintiff the parties were friends at the time of the contract so no proper documents had been signed so it was difficult for her to prove which loan exactly hadn't been paid. She decided to use an audio of a conversation between her and the defendant in which the counterpart confirmed the debt. There was the only problem with this record - it was made without debtor's knowledge. 
The first instance decision was in plaintiff's favor with the audio as the key evidence.. However, the decision was reversed in an appeal court, which ruled that any parties of the conversation should know and approve the recording, otherwise it infringe the privacy of the person (art. 9 of the Russian Law on Information and Its Protection). 
The. Supreme court disaffirmed the appeal's court ruling by pointing out that privacy protected a person from the information being collected by the state or by an unauthorized third party. The circumstances of the case were totally different as the conversation was recorded by another party to the contract and, therefore, her rights and liability were affected as well.  
The decision is o be considered an important step to confirm that еhe privacy rules should not be an excuse to broke one's duties.