THE HONG KONG INSTITUTE OF ARBITRATORS CODE OF PROFESSIONAL AND ETHICAL CONDUCT
(Effective From 1 February 2002)
The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘ethics’ as moral principles or rules of conduct. A Code of Ethics provides a set of moral principles according to which one should conduct one’s affairs.
The Institute has decided to publish a Code of Professional or Ethical Conduct from time to time. This is so that members may be reminded of the professional and moral principles which should at all times govern their conduct. The Code sets out, in a number of Rules, the minimum standards of conduct that members should seek to observe.
The Code is based on the Code of Professional or Ethical Conduct issued by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and the Institute acknowledges their permission for its use.
The purpose of adopting a Code of Ethics for arbitrators and others involved in alternative dispute resolution is not only to serve as a guide to arbitrators and those conducting the resolution process but also to serve as a point of reference for users of the process and to promote public confidence in arbitration and other dispute resolution techniques. The Code itself is not a rigid set of rules but is a reflection of internationally acceptable guidelines.
In some instances the ethics set down herein may be repeated in legislation governing the arbitration, case law or rules which parties adopt. In many instances members will also be bound by other codes of practice or conduct imposed upon them by virtue of membership of primary professional organisations.
“The object of arbitration is to obtain the fair resolution of disputes by an impartial tribunal without unnecessary delay or expense”
An arbitrator has an overriding obligation to act fairly and impartially as between the parties, at all stages of the proceedings.
An arbitrator shall be free from bias and shall disclose any interest or relationship likely to affect his impartiality or which might reasonably create an appearance of partiality or bias. This is an ongoing duty and does not cease until the arbitration has concluded. Failure to make such disclosure itself may create an appearance of bias, and may be a ground for disqualification.
An arbitrator shall not permit outside pressure, fear of criticism or any form of self interest to affect his decisions. An arbitrator shall decide all the issues submitted for determination after careful deliberation and the exercise of his own impartial judgement.
An arbitrator in communicating with the parties shall avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety. There shall be no private communications between an arbitrator and any party, regarding substantive issues in the case. All communications, other than proceedings at a hearing, should be in writing. Any correspondence shall remain private and confidential and shall not be copied to anyone other than the parties to the dispute, without the agreement of the parties. An arbitrator shall not accept any gift or substantial hospitality, directly or indirectly, from any party to the arbitration, except in the presence of the other parties and/or with their consent.
An arbitrator shall only accept an appointment if he has suitable experience and ability for the case and available time to proceed with the arbitration.
An arbitrator shall be faithful to the relationship of trust and confidentiality inherent in that office.
An arbitrator’s fees and expenses must be reasonable taking into account all the circumstances of the case. An arbitrator shall disclose and explain the basis of fees and expenses to the parties.
Arbitrators may publicise their expertise and experience but shall not actively solicit appointment as arbitrators.
ADOPTED BY ORDER OF THE COUNCIL
on 9 January 2002