Confidentiality is traditionally cited both as one of the fundamental principles of international arbitration, and as one of the main advantages of choosing international arbitration over recourse to a domestic judicial system. However, the precise meaning and scope to be attributed to the principle of confidentiality in an arbitral context have long been the subject of significant debate, and there is little international consensus on whether and to what extent a duty of confidentiality in arbitration does exist.

Furthermore, to the extentsuch a duty is deemed to exist, a high standard of confidentiality is oftenrequired in relation to arbitral proceedings, while for practical reasonsmore discretion will generally be permitted in relation to the disclosureof arbitral awards. For example, it is well accepted that parties willoften need to disclose the contents of an arbitral award to a domesticcourt for enforcement purposes, or may have a legal obligation to discloseinformation regarding the status or outcome of an arbitration to courts,public bodies, or third parties in varying situations. Moreover, the publicationof arbitral awards or extracts in some form is instrumental to the developmentof a body of arbitral case law.

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