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1 (concealment) (in contract law) The failure by one party, during negotiations for a contract, to disclose to the other a fact known to him that would influence the other in deciding whether or not to enter into the contract. A full duty of disclosure exists only in the case of contracts * uberrimae fidei, which are usually contracts of insurance. If the person to be insured tells an untruth, the contract will (like any other) be voidable for misrepresentation; if this person also suppresses a material fact, it will be voidable for nondisclosure. In the case of other contracts, there is no general duty to volunteer information and mere silence cannot constitute misrepresentation (Bell v Lever Bros Ltd [1932] AC 161 (HL). There is, however, a very limited duty of disclosure. A person who does volunteer information must not tell only a partial truth and must correct any statement that subsequently becomes to his knowledge untrue; breach of this duty will render the contract voidable for misrepresentation (Spice Girls Ltd v Aprilia World Service BV [2000] EWCA Civ 15, [2001] EMLR 174).

2 (in civil proceedings) Failure of a party to disclose a document that should have been disclosed in his list of documents (see disclosure and inspection of documents). Under Part 31 of the Civil Procedure Rules the other party may seek an order for specific disclosure of the document.

Subjects: Law.

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