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Exploring Confidentiality Measures in Arbitration Proceedings

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Confidentiality in Arbitration

In another interesting article from Charles Russell Speechly, John Olatunji and Dalal Alhouti looked at Confidentiality in Arbitration - A Cloak with Holes.

The article discusses the importance of confidentiality in arbitration, highlighting how parties can secure confidentiality, relevant laws, and potential loopholes in maintaining arbitration confidentiality.

Key Takeaways:

  • Arbitration is favoured for its confidentiality compared to public court proceedings.

  • Confidentiality in arbitration is not automatic, varies, and can be ensured through arbitration agreement clauses or institutional rules.

  • Some national laws include provisions for keeping arbitration proceedings confidential.

  • Despite efforts to maintain confidentiality, there are circumstances where details may enter the public domain or be disclosed to third parties, such as when court intervention is sought.

  • The importance of balancing the need for confidentiality with the interests of justice is emphasised in case law examples.

In our own arbitration rules for travel disputes we have a clause dealing with confidentiality directly. This clause states


  • Both the Claimant and the Respondent undertake not, at any time, to disclose to any person any details of the Arbitration, unless it is to uphold the Award.

  • ABTA Ltd and/or Hunt ADR may analyse Arbitration Awards in order to monitor the effectiveness of the Scheme and produce and/or publish findings.

  • Personal information will only be published for the purpose of upholding the Award or at the direction of a Court Order or any governmental or regulatory authority.

Confidentiality remains a major selling point of arbitration over litigation, but it should not be taken for granted that it is a given, parties need to carefully check rules and procedures if confidentiality is important to them.

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