Yes, the attorney-client privilege upholds principles of justice, because it is important that a defendant be able to communicate freely and openly with his or her attorney. The attorney is basically one and the same with the client. The attorney cannot fairly represent the client if they cannot have open and honest discussions about the client's best interests, based on all the information in the case.
I do believe that attorney-client privilege does uphold the principles of the justice system. It is getting harder to receive a fair trial in the United States and if attorney-client privilege is revoked it will be nearly impossible. Lawyers should be able to keep their clients information and talks private.
In one sense, attorney-client privilege does uphold the principles of justice. Whatever a client says to their attorney can't be used against them in court. Even if that person admits to being guilty, such guilt cannot be proven by exchanges with the attorney. However, this also means that liars can get through a court case without winding up serving their due time.
The right to a fair trial is guaranteed by amendments to the U.S. Constitution. As such, attorney-client privilege is one of those rights. What someone tells to an attorney in private shouldn't be admissable as evidence in court. If someone is to be convicted of a crime or found to be negligent in some civil matter, that should be done through evidence and not what a client says to their lawyer.
Our system of justice is built around two things: the presumption of innocence and the ability of everyone to mount a defense in front of a jury of their peers. In order to receive a fair trial a defendant must be able to talk frankly and honestly to their attorney without fear. Removing this privilege would cast a chill over the entire justice system and it would make it harder for innocent people to get a fair trial.
No. Justice is not served when a lawyer that knows his or her client is guilty gets them off on a crime that has wronged another. I understand that everyone deserves a defense, but it takes a special kind of person to defend someone whom is guilty. There is no justice in a person walking away after committing murder, when the person that is getting him off knows what he has done.
While I wholeheartedly agree that attorney client privilege is a necessary part of the legal process, I believe it prevents justice in certain circumstances. If someone is charged with a crime and admits to his attorney, but his attorney is able to get the charges dismissed or dropped, justice is not being done. It is prevented by the lawyer and his client's ability to hide information from the police.