Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.

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Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.

I think the LD topic people are running low on brain juice because this another one in a long series of recycled topics. In any case, it must be analyzed.

Let’s start with important terms and definitions.

United States Criminal Justice System – Simply put, we’re talking about the system of laws and courts in the U.S. which is used to try people for various crimes and punish them accordingly

Truth – seeking – In the context of the resolution, this means determining innocence or guilt i.e. whether or not the client in question actually committed the alleged crime

Take Precedence- Don’t try to abuse this definition. In order for there to be a precedence consideration, it necessarily means that the two competing priorities must be in conflict. So, to have truth – seeking take precedence over attorney client privilege means that, when attorney – client privilege gets in the way of finding the truth, it should be ignored

Ought – This means should. Your framework will need to explain how we determine what the U.S. justice system should or should not do

Alright, let’s move on to case positions.


1. Purpose of the Justice System – The entire purpose of the U.S. justice system is to guarantee justice. It is established to protect the rights of U.S. citizens and assign appropriate punishment. Attorney client privilege is not a right; it is a fabricated concept. Because justice is actually the justice system’s purpose, it must be held as the highest priority. When anything comes in conflict with that end, that conflicting thing should never take precedence. Under the resolution, attorney – client privilege is preventing the justice system from accomplishing its purpose, and therefore, attorney – client privilege should not take precedence.

2. Rights and Claims – Rights function as claims we have against other people. For example, my right to life is a claim others have on me to not kill them. Similarly, my right to property is a claim others have on me not to steal . As a result, I have the same claim on everyone else. Governmental rights are the same. As a people, when we form the social contract, we afford the government the right to be the final arbiter. This right functions as a claim we have on the government to actually carry out that arbitration justly. In order to do this, the government must be able to find the truth, and therefore, attorney client privilege cannot take precedence over truth seeking.


1. Truth is not Justice – The justice system is not built to find truth; it is built to provide justice. Attorney client privilege is a necessary component of justice. It allows for protection of the innocent and open communication between clients and their legal representatives. It serves a necessary function which allows the rights of citizens to be protected and allows individuals to not be taken advantage of. Because the justice system’s purpose is to provide justice, attorney-client privilege must take precedence.

2. In the affirmative world, the justice system falls apart – If we agree that attorney – client privilege can be overridden, then the privilege may as well not exist. It becomes meaningless because the client will always fear that information they divulge to their attorney can be used disparagingly. This means that cases will not be able to expedited of communication breakdowns. This means that truth seeking may actually be inhibited even more because innocent clients who are guilty of moral indiscretions but not legal ones will be unable to establish their innocence with their attorneys. In short, the entire system crumbles without attorney – client privilege.


I hope this helps get you started. Good luck! 🙂



4 responses to “Resolved: In the United States criminal justice system, truth-seeking ought to take precedence over attorney-client privilege.

  1. Where did you get your definition for truth seeking? I would like to use it for my own case but I need a source for it

    • I did not look up the definition. You can find sources for the definition, but my definitions are intended to describe what the terms should mean in the context of the resolution to encourage people not to use abusive definitions.

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