Mediation and arbitration aren’t always confidential and private. Michael Erdle’s January 2015 Slaw column looks at two recent cases where public policy collides with parties’ expectations and conduct. If parties want to ensure confidentiality and privacy, they must take to ensure that this intention is realized. This is especially important in situations where one of them could later gain an advantage by making some details public. The column discusses the Supreme Court of Canada’s unanimous decision in Union Carbide Inc. v. Bombardier Inc., 2014 SCC 35. The court endorses a broad public policy in favour of maintaining the confidentiality of settlement discussions, including mediation. And it looks at a decision of the Ontario Divisional Court, which dismissed journalist Jan Wong’s application for judicial review of an arbitrator’s award that she repay a $209,912 settlement paid by the newspaper in a wrongful dismissal action. The bottom line is that parties must give very careful thought to whether they want their dispute to be resolved privately, and whether they want it to remain confidential, come what may. They must think about whether there may be situations where they need to disclose some information about the mediation or arbitration in order to enforce a settlement or an award.