The Use of In Camera Hearings In Ruling On the Informer Privilege

The thesis of this article is that most of the problems of defining the scope of the privilege in a particular case are due to the paucity of information available to the trial judge who must rule on the issue. Furthermore, many of the formulas presently used are conceptually and functionally inadequate. Both of these problems can be solved by the use of in camera hearings, for such proceedings not only will provide the trial judge with sufficient information to make a fair and rational decision, but will also alleviate the present necessity to rule only on the basis of vague and indefinite standards.