Allison Baden-Clay.
Allison Baden-Clay. QT file image

Counsellor claims confidentiality issue in Baden-Clay trial

A COUNSELLOR for the Baden-Clay family could invoke a constitutional challenge through claiming confidentiality.

The Relationships Australia counsellor wants to argue client privilege under the Family Law Act which is Commonwealth legislation.

She also claims her evidence would be inadmissible.

Gerard Baden-Clay is accused of murdering his wife Allison at their Brookfield home in April last year.

He reported her missing on April 20 and has maintained he is not guilty of the crime.

The mother of three's body was found under the Kholo Creek bridge, near Ipswich, 10 days after she was reported missing.

Crown prosecutor Danny Boyle submitted to Brisbane Supreme Court on Monday that the family law legislation would not interfere with a criminal trial under Queensland laws.

He suggested an inquiry to test the evidence ahead of trial.

Lawyer Peter Shields, acting for Baden-Clay, suggested they proceed with a subpoena which allowed Relationships Australia to formally object.

He said the judge set to hear the trial could then assess how important the evidence would be and then make a submission to the Court of Appeal if required.

"The subpoena point could be used as a catalyst for what is to follow," he said. 

George Kalimnios, submitting for Relationships Australia, said the counsellor believed her right to claim confidentiality extended to her verbal account and any counselling related documents.

He said confidentially underpinned the family law environment.

Justice Glenn Martin said he would not deal with the issue immediately but asked the parties to consider the best way forward.

He said the way this issue was dealt with ahead of trial could affect how it proceeded on appeal if a jury delivered a guilty verdict.

The parties will discuss the matter again next Monday.



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