ETHICAL RULES OF CONDUCT FOR ARBITRATORS OF THE COURT OF ARBITRATION AT THE EUROPEAN JUDICIAL CHAMBER
The use of Arbitration as a form of alternative dispute resolution has grown extensively and is beginning to form a significant part of the system of justice on which our society relies for fairness and promptness. Therefore, the persons who act as arbitrators undertake serious responsibilities to the public, as well as to the parties. Those responsibilities include professionalism and appropriate behaviour of the arbitrators in the process of hearing and solving of arbitration cases, high standards for their social and personal behaviour thus creating a framework for the expectations of the parties who have turned to the CA at the EJC for the protection of their rights.
The Ethical Rules of Conduct for Arbitrators (“Ethical Rules”) hereby shall apply to the arbitrators of the CA at the EJC. They are intended to serve as guidelines and to foster the professionalism and quality of work of arbitrators; to reaffirm the justice and impartiality of the arbitration procedure; to raise the public trust in the arbitration method for solving disputes in general and by the CA at the EJC in particular.
The Ethical Rules are not intended as a guideline for all actions of the arbitrators in their complicated and subtle activities. They outline a broad framework of acceptable behaviour in situations with significant social and ethical consequences.
Art. 1. (1) In the course of their activities, arbitrators shall be independent and shall be obliged to act in honesty and to remain impartial by solely submitting to the Constitution, the international treaties to which the Republic of Bulgaria is signatory, the laws and their inner convictions.
(2) Arbitrators shall be bound by the rules of conduct in their professional activities, in executing their public deeds and in their personal life.
(3) It shall not be admissible for an arbitrator to have any personal interest in the outcome of those cases that have been heard and solved by a tribunal to which that arbitrator is a member.
Art. 2. In order to avoid any doubts with regard to the presence of independence and impartiality of arbitrators, resp. the lack of interest in the outcome of the case, the following shall not be permitted:
1. the involvement in a proceeding as an arbitrator if the individual is party to the same proceeding, a legal representative of either party to the proceeding or a relative of either party to the proceeding or of their legal representatives; the involvement as an arbitrator shall not be allowed also when the legal representative of one of the parties and the arbitrator work at one and the same Law Firm or at any other lawyers’ cooperation.
2. the involvement of arbitrators who related by any natural ties of relationship.
3. the involvement of arbitrators who before their appointment have given legal advice to either party to the proceeding concerning the legal relations which are wholly or partly partly the subject of the case.
4. the involvement of arbitrators, who have been witnesses, private evaluators or experts.
5. the involvement of arbitrators, who have common rights, common duties or common interests (legal relations in connection to common work on employment or basic consultation) with a party to the proceeding or legal representative.
Rules of Professional Conduct for Arbitrators
Art. 3. (1) Upon their election or appointment arbitrators must disclose all the circumstances which as a result of an objective judgment could arouse doubts in relation to the arbitrator’s independence and impartiality.
(2) Arbitrators shall also have the obligation pursuant to the preceding paragraph in situations where the circumstances, that may give rise to doubts concerning their independence and impartiality have occurred after they are being designated for arbitrators.
(3) The arbitrators get acquainted with the present Rules upon their enlistment in the List of Arbitrators of the CA at the EJC which they verify with a written Statement of consent. Upon their election or appointment for a particular case, arbitrators shall fill out a declaration of independence and impartiality, which shall be brought to the attention of the parties to the proceeding.
(4) The breach of the obligations listed under this Article shall qualify as a breach of the Ethical Rules, even when the failure to declare the circumstances does not substantiate a challenge of an arbitrator.
Art. 4. Arbitrators shall agree on hearing a case as part of an arbitration panel only if they meet the following requirements:
– they are independent and are capable of fulfilling their obligations impartially;
– they possess the necessary knowledge, experience and competence in order to solve the issues of the dispute;
– they have sufficient time in order to hear and settle a dispute within the timeframes settled by the Rules of the CA at the EJC.
Art. 5. (1) Arbitrators shall be obliged to treat the opposing parties as equal and shall refrain from actions that might give rise to doubts concerning their objectivity.
(2) In the course of the arbitration proceedings the arbitrators shall be obliged to treat the opposing parties, their legal representatives, witnesses and other participants in the proceeding kindly and with due respect.
(3) Upon or in connection with fulfillment of their official duties, arbitrators must not ask for and/or accept directly or indirectly any benefits (favours, gifts, etc.) from a party to the proceeding, their legal representatives and including third parties.
(4) Arbitrators shall therefore fulfil their official duties in good faith, by endeavouring what is necessary for the adherence to the principles for expediency of the arbitration procedure.
(5) The relations between colleagues- arbitrators, secretaries and other officials of the CA at the EJC shall be based on co-operation, understanding and mutual respect.
Art. 6. During the formation of opinion on the issues raised during the proceedings or in act of rendering of the final award the arbitrators shall not be influenced by any kind of exterior pressure, fear of criticism or another type of interest or frustration.
Art. 7. (1) Arbitrators shall be obliged not to share and spread any information by any kind of means, that they have become aware of during the hearing and solving of a case and to keep the trade secrets of the parties.
(2) Arbitrators shall be obliged to keep secret the discussions of the members of the arbitration panel on any issues related to the proceeding in question.
Rules of Conduct in the Public Arena
Art. 8. In their relations with public authorities and institutions, with non-governmental organisations and the media, arbitrators shall:
1. be guided by a sense of responsibility;
2. obey the doctrine of confidentiality of the arbitration procedure and shall not discuss any pending arbitration proceedings or closed cases in the CA at the EJC;
3. in all cases assist in raising the prestige of the CA at the EJC.
Art. 9. Observing the present Rules, arbitrators may assist in the improvement of the law and the legal order and environment in the Republic of Bulgaria by expressing opinions and participating in discussions, give lectures, publish generally popular and academic work, take part in radio and television shows and others
Art. 10. Upon serious violation of the present Rules, the Arbitral College may propose to the Board of Directors of the EJC removal of the arbitrator form from the List of Arbitrators.
The present Ethical Rules were adopted by the Board of Directors of the European Judicial Chamber under a resolution recorded in Minutes No. 1 of 4 June 2012 and shall come into force on the same date.