Without prejudice

Without prejudice

The without prejudice rule is a form of privilege that will generally prevent statements made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute, whether made in writing or orally, from being put before the court as evidence of admissions against the interest of the party that made them 


The rule is intended to encourage parties (or potential parties) to litigation to settle their disputes out of court.  The rationale being that settlement talks (and, it is hoped, settlement itself) will be facilitated if parties are able to speak freely, secure in the knowledge that what they have said and, in particular, any admissions that they might have made to try to compromise the dispute, cannot be used against them should the settlement discussions fail 


Beware – the inclusion of the words ‘without prejudice’ will not magically bring the communication within the ambit of rule if it is not, in substance, a communication made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute 


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