What ethical codes and other professional standards, if any, apply to counsel and arbitrators conducting proceedings in your country?

International Arbitration (3rd edition)

Egypt Small Flag Egypt

An arbitrator must not be a minor or under legal custody, and must not have been deprived of his or her civil rights by reason of criminal conviction in a felony, misdemeanor in crimes relating to honour or by reason of bankruptcy. Arbitrators have ethical duties. They are required to perform the role of the judiciary for the dispute in question and must therefore conform to the ethical standards of a judge which includes impartiality, neutrality and independence. Counsel are held to the ethical rules governing the legal profession in Egypt, including confidentiality and other duties to their clients.

France Small Flag France

Apart from a resolution that was adopted by the Paris Bar on 26 February 2008 allowing counsel to prepare witnesses before oral examination in international arbitration, French law does not provide specific ethical codes or standards that apply to counsel and arbitrators. Accordingly, counsel and arbitrators should respect the general ethical codes and other professional standards as provided by the French Bar or by the ethical codes and professional standards as provided in their local bars or jurisdictions.

Cyprus Small Flag Cyprus

The arbitrator, as it is stated in Cap. 4 and Law no 101/1987, must be unbiased in each dispute and procedural matters should be kept brief. It is common in Cyprus for arbitrators to be lawyers and in such a case, those individuals are also bound by the Code of Ethics and Conduct for Advocates.

Czech Republic Small Flag Czech Republic

Under Czech arbitration law there is no specific code of ethics for counsels and arbitrators.

Romania Small Flag Romania

Counsel in Romania is generally bound by the ethical rules provided in the legislation governing the lawyer’s profession, such as the Statute of legal profession.

Arbitrators, albeit not being expressly bound by a code of ethics, hold the obligation, under the CPC, to maintain confidentiality, impartiality and good standards whilst performing their duties.

Serbia Small Flag Serbia

Ethical standards of the Serbian Bar Association apply to Serbian counsels in all the proceedings in which they take part in, including arbitration proceedings.

Parties may also agree on application of certain ethical codes and standards of conduct, such as IBA Guidelines on Parties’ Representation in International Arbitration.

China Small Flag China

The Law on Lawyers is the main source of ethical standards for lawyers in China.
Both the Arbitration Law and arbitration institutions have codes of ethics for arbitrators. Specifically, Article 34 of the Arbitration Law provides the circumstances under which an arbitrator must withdraw from adjudicating an arbitration. The Code of Ethics of CIETAC requires that arbitrators conduct proceedings with impartiality, independence and fairness, as well as circumstances where arbitrators should refuse an appointment, make disclosure, or apply for withdrawal.

In addition, the parties may agree to apply the IBA Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration.

Denmark Small Flag Denmark

a. Arbitrators must be impartial and independent, and the arbitrator must inform the parties of such circumstances that may raise doubt of his or her impartiality or independence.

Counsels and arbitrators who are members of the Danish Bar and Law Society must act in accordance with “Code of Conduct of the Danish Bar and Law Society”.

Poland Small Flag Poland

Counsel and arbitrators are bound by the ethical rules or standards of their respective professions. The Court of Arbitration at the Polish Chamber of Commerce has established an Arbitrator’s Code of Ethics for arbitrators in proceedings at that institution. The Polish Arbitration Association has also adopted the Arbitrator’s Code of Ethics.

Switzerland Small Flag Switzerland

In general, representatives and arbitrators in arbitral tribunals do not need to be lawyers or admitted to the bar. Parties may, however, only be represented by attorneys authorised by Swiss Law or a treaty in appeal proceedings before the Swiss Federal Tribunal.

According to Swiss law, lawyers are required to observe various professional rules such as duty of diligence, independence, avoidance of conflict of interest, and the attorney-client-privilege. Violation of these rules may result in disciplinary action by the cantonal supervisory authorities. In addition, the Swiss Bar Association stipulated various professional standards which should be observed by its members.

UAE Small Flag UAE

The DLAD has published the ‘Charter for the Conduct of Advocates and Legal Consultants in the Emirate of Dubai’ (the “Charter”). The Charter applies to legal services including arbitration. This Charter however remains in draft form and therefore may be subject to amendment.

The DIFC Court’s Code of Best Legal Professional Practice (“DIFC COP”), applies to both practitioners who undertake contentious work in the DIFC Courts and those who undertake non-contentious work but are licenced to conduct business in the DIFC ‘(and who are registered with and authorised by DFSA (Dubai Financial Services Authority) as Ancillary Service Providers)’. The DIFC COP does not however have any regulatory status.

United Kingdom Small Flag United Kingdom

An arbitrator conducting an arbitration in this jurisdiction will primarily be subject to any applicable ethical codes or professional standards in their own jurisdiction. There are also a number of non-binding ethical codes for arbitrators (including the IBA's Rules of Ethics for International Arbitrators and its Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration).

Further, the 1996 Act states that the tribunal shall (a) act fairly and impartially, and (b) adopt procedures to provide a fair means for the resolution of the matters (s.33).

Saudi Arabia Small Flag Saudi Arabia

Neither the Law of arbitration, nor its Implementing Regulations set out a code of conduct specific to legal counsel. However, for this purpose, the Saudi Code of Law Practice, may be consulted. The Code of Law Practice was promulgated by Royal Decree No. M/38 dated 28/7/ 1422H (October 15, 2001), and is available on the Saudi Bureau of Experts’ website (https://www.boe.gov.sa/ViewSystemDetails.aspx?lang=en&SystemID=126&VersionID=156).

Generally, the KSA requires arbitrators to be of a good conduct, holding a bachelor degree of Shariah or law and shall be bound by the ethical codes and other professional standards of the state in which the parties are admitted to practice law.

Article 13 of the Law of Arbitration provides that arbitrators shall be of full legal capacity, good conduct and reputation and holding a bachelor degree of Shariah or Law.

The SCCA Arbitration Rules do not mention any specific ethical codes or professional standards for arbitrators other than them being a dedicated arbitrator.

United States Small Flag United States

Counsel in the United States will be bound by the ethics rules of the states in which they practice. Arbitrators in the United States are generally required to observe standards of impartiality and neutrality. Particular states may impose further requirements, such as those provided by California’s Ethics Standards for Neutral Arbitrators in Contractual Arbitrations.

Austria Small Flag Austria

The Professional Code of Conduct for Lawyers applies to all members of the Austrian Bar, including those members who act as arbitrators or counsel in an arbitration. There are no specific ethical codes applicable specifically to counsel and arbitrators in an arbitration in Austria.

Nigeria Small Flag Nigeria

Nigerian lawyers conducting proceedings as counsel or arbitrators are bound by the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007 in carrying out their services.

Portugal Small Flag Portugal

The Portuguese Arbitration Association issued a code of ethics for arbitrators that can be used within ad-hoc arbitrations or adopted by arbitral institutions. It contains guidelines for arbitrators concerning issues such as their independence and impartiality, duty to disclose, communications with the parties, costs and confidentiality. The code should be interpreted and integrated taking into account the IBA Rules on Conflict of Interest in International Arbitration. It has been adopted by institutions such as the Commercial Arbitration Centre of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Portuguese Arbitral Tribunal for Sports.

Professional standards applicable to counsels are determined by the Portuguese Bar Association Statute (Law 145/2015 of 9 September) which includes strict duties towards clients, tribunals, colleagues, etc.

Russia Small Flag Russia

Although there are no ethical codes or other professional standards specifically applicable to arbitration, counsel and arbitrators who have been barred are required to abide by the Federal Law “On Advocates Activity and Advocates” of 2002, as well as the Code of Professional Advocate Ethics of 2003. However, bar membership is not mandatory in Russia, and thus non-barred lawyers may serve as counsel or arbitrators.

Ireland Small Flag Ireland

Article 12 of the Model Law requires an arbitrator both at the outset of an arbitration and throughout its conduct, to disclose any circumstances likely to give rise to a justifiable doubt as to his impartiality or independence. The Model Law principles of ‘ex aequo et bono’ and ‘amiable compositeur’ apply to arbitrations in Ireland. There are no specific statutory ethical codes but the ethical rules of any relevant Institution agreed to by the parties would apply.

Norway Small Flag Norway

There are no formal ethical codes or other professional standards applicable to arbitrators. Counsel in an arbitration are, of course, bound by the ethical code of the profession. Breach of any general ethical standard will most likely lead to challenge of the award in the ordinary courts.

Germany Small Flag Germany

German law does not provide for specific ethical codes for arbitrators. German lawyers are rather bound by the ethical standards laid down in the Federal Lawyers' Act (Bundesrechtsanwaltsordnung) as well as the Professional Regulations for Lawyers (Berufsordnung für Rechtsanwälte).

The IBA Rules of Ethics for International Arbitrators are widely accepted in German arbitration proceedings.

Croatia Small Flag Croatia

There are no specific ethical codes or professional standards that apply in general to arbitrators conducting arbitration proceedings. However, the Permanent Arbitration Court established at the Croatian Chamber of Economy has its own Code of Ethics that applies to arbitrators conducting the arbitration proceedings within the Permanent Arbitration Court.

Counsels in arbitration proceedings that are attorneys at law in Croatia, are in general bound by the Code of Ethics of the Croatian Bar Association.

Updated: November 14, 2018