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Singapore Court of Appeal: Public Justice v Confidentiality

In The Republic of India v Deutsche Telekom AG, 2 the Singapore Court of Appeal analysed the availability of confidentiality protections after information about the arbitration (whose confidentiality is sought to be protected) was already available in the public domain. The Court of Appeal declined to grant a sealing order for arbitration related proceedings because the confidentiality of the underlying arbitration had already been lost.

The take-away of this decision is that where the confidentiality of arbitration has been lost already, then the principle of open justice would prevail, and the cloak of privacy provided for in the International Arbitration Act would not be applicable. Therefore, the threshold for upholding confidentiality as set by Singapore courts is whether the confidentiality of the arbitral proceedings has already been lost. Parties that wish to protect the confidentiality of their arbitration proceedings should ensure that information relating to the arbitration is not released into the public domain

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