Without Prejudice

The without prejudice rule generally prevents oral or written statements made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute from being put before a court as evidence of admissions against the interest of the party which made them.

One reason for having this rule is the public policy of encouraging parties (or potential parties) to litigation to settle their disputes out of court. Hopefully any settlement discussions (and the settlement itself) will be facilitated if parties are able to speak freely, secure in the knowledge that what they say and, in particular, any admissions which they might make to try to settle the matter, may not be used against them should the discussions fail.

The inclusion of the words “without prejudice” will not necessarily privilege the communication if it is not, substantially, a communication made in a genuine attempt to settle an existing dispute.