Secret Recordings

Are you tempted to secretly record your ex?

We suggest that YOU DON’T DO IT. Recording conversations without the knowledge or consent of the other person may result in you breaching the Surveillance Devices Act and Commonwealth Telecommunications Act. Serious criminal penalties can apply. 

At Perth Family Lawyers we know the impact that family breakdown can have on you emotionally and psychologically and it may be tempting to secretly audio or video record conversations or your contact with the other party, however such conduct can result in criminal charges being brought against you, and the recordings not being permitted to be relied upon in Court hearings in any event. 

Recordings can take the form of video recordings, such as of handovers, or audio recordings, for example telephone calls.  There have been occasions where clients of Perth Family Lawyers have sought to rely upon recordings in their evidence before the Family Court of Western Australia.  It is clear from a review of those recordings that the recordings took place without the knowledge or consent of the other participants to the conversation. 

In these cases, it may indeed have been unlawful to make the recording.  Further it must then be demonstrated by the person making the recording that it was necessary to do so to stop serious or immediate harm from occurring.  A Court will also give consideration to the fact that the recording party is aware of the recording and thus is likely to be presenting a much more favourable version of themselves in the recording, than if the recording was not being made.  A Court will also have regard to the fact that the recording party themselves has likely acted illegally and this may influence a Judge’s view on the character of that person.

We recommend that you obtain immediate advice from Perth Family Lawyers regarding your separation, so that you have the right advice at the right time to enable you to make good decisions, and to conduct yourself in a way that will not prejudice you or impede you securing the best outcome for yourself. 

The solicitors at Perth Family Lawyers are highly trained and experienced and can advise you about the legality of recordings, or advise you if you suspect you are being recorded unlawfully.  Being subject to surveillance and being recorded can also be considered an act of family violence, which can be the subject of Restraining Order proceedings.  A Court may refuse to permit recordings into evidence and the judicial officer will need to weigh upon what is shown in the recording against the public interests in upholding that private conversations should not be secretly recorded.