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VIC Recording Phone Calls - Illegal or Use as Evidence?

Discussion in 'Other/General Law Forum' started by Jason James, 21 January 2015.

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  1. Jason James

    Jason James Member

    21 January 2015
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    Situation: Used car dealer kept fixing my car for 8 months without contacting me. So I hounded them over the phone and copped some abuse so I started voice recording every phone conversation in the hopes that I could take it to court and use it as evidence of abuse and their unwillingness to help me out.

    Is it illegal to record phone conversations on your mobile phone with a business with which you are having serious problems?
    Also, is it illegal to record a conversation using your phone of a meeting that took place in person?

    Apparently, the laws are very vague and in some cases it is illegal, some cases it is up to the discretion of the judge and in others it is legal. So what is it?
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

    16 April 2014
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    Hi Jason,

    The applicable laws are the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 and the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 (Vic).

    Under both the Commonwealth and State acts, you can record a private telephone conversation to which you are a party without the consent of the other person as long as the recording is not done through a device "installed within" the telephone - such as an interception device. You are however allowed to record the private conversation with an external recording device - like a dictaphone or even some form of software installed on your computer. One issue will therefore be, whether the software or device with which you recorded the telephone conversation was considered under the act as a device installed within the telephone or an external device.

    In addition however, section 11 of the state act allows the communication or publication of a prohibited recording in certain circumstances. One of those circumstances is where the communication or publication is no more than is reasonably necessary for the protection of the lawful interests of the person making it.

    Therefore it would appear that if you were a party to a telephone conversation and you recorded it and then used it for legal proceedings it would be okay. However it is ultimately a matter for the Court or Tribunal to decide whether a recording will be admissible or not.

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