Communications between parties that form part of a genuine attempt to resolve a dispute, and which are expressed to be, or are by implication, made ‘without prejudice’, will be protected by without prejudice privilege.
This means that they are inadmissible in court and cannot be made the subject of a disclosure order in any proceedings (subject to certain exceptions). The intention is to exclude all negotiations genuinely aimed at settlement from being given in evidence, and to encourage parties to seek to resolve their differences by allowing them to speak freely, knowing that those communications cannot be subsequently disclosed should they fail to reach settlement.
Without prejudice privilege can apply to both oral and written communications. There are exceptions to the general rule of inadmissibility, for example certain communications that are admissible when it comes to the issue of costs.