Relationships Australia v Pasternak 1996 20 Fam LR 604

A trial judge ruled that while documents produced by a subpoena were inadmissible evidence they could be viewed by parties.  The judgment was appealed in the Full Court who ruled that documentation by family counsellors was both immune from admission in proceedings and also was immune from compulsory disclosure to parties in proceedings. The appeal affirmed the confidentiality of information when clients attend voluntary counselling sessions.

The court made it clear that a non-party should not be required to produce for inspection private and confidential documents via either the subpoena process or third party discovery procedures.