The University of Cambridge will never use Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to prevent individuals from reporting sexual misconduct or to cover up inappropriate behaviour.  The University considers the safety and wellbeing of members of its community to be of paramount importance and supports the right of complainants to take the matter to the police or other regulatory agencies and warn others about proven perpetrators of abuse or inappropriate behaviour.

There are, however, rare occasions when non-disclosure agreements, made as part of the settlement of a dispute, can benefit all parties to it[1]. Where a complainant genuinely wishes a settlement agreement to contain an NDA, its terms are clear and the complainant has received independent legal advice about its effect, the parties should be free to reach a settlement on this basis.  The University is unable to give a commitment that could be interpreted as preventing the use of NDAs in this sort of situation, however infrequently it may arise.




[1] Report of the House of Commons Women and Equalities Select Committee entitled Sexual harassment in the workplace (HC725) (2018) at para 109: 'we acknowledge that there is a place for NDAs in settlement agreements; there may be times when a victim makes the judgement that signing an NDA is genuinely in their own best interests, perhaps because it provides a route to resolution that they feel would entail less trauma than going to court, or because they value the guarantee of privacy';  See also ABC v Telegraph Media (2018) at para 63.

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