Code of Ethics

Court of Arbitration at the Confederation of Lewiatan - modern institution serving entrepreneurs and quick resolution of commercial disputes

Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics for Arbitrators of the Court of Arbitration at the Polish Confederation Lewiatan

1. Introduction

1.1. This Code was adopted by the Arbitration Committee pursuant to § 28 item 1 of the Rules of the Court of Arbitration, taking into account the Code of ethics for arbitrators adopted by the Polish Arbitration Association.

1.2. This Code lays down guidelines regarding the conduct expected of persons who undertake to serve as arbitrators (including presiding arbitrators and sole arbitrators) in disputes submitted for settlement by the Court of Arbitration. Insofar as required by the context, the duties of an arbitrator are, at the same time, the duties of an arbitral tribunal.

1.3. The consequences of a violation of this Code are set forth by the Rules of the Court of Arbitration and by the provisions of law. Any provisions of the Code the violation of which is not so remedied are to be considered recommendations.

2. Independence and impartiality of arbitrators

2.1. Regardless of the manner in which he was appointed, an arbitrator is not a representative of any of the parties. An arbitrator should behave in a balanced and neutral manner towards the parties and towards all other participants of the proceedings; he should avoid behaviour and remarks that might suggest a negative attitude towards any of the parties.

2.2. A person appointed to be arbitrator may accept this function only if he is completely certain that:
- He may perform this office in an impartial manner;
- He has the qualifications required to resolve the subject matter of the dispute;
- He will be able to devote to the matter such time and attention as the parties may reasonably expect of him.

2.3. An arbitrator should guard the integrity of the proceedings, and especially his own and the other arbitrators' independence and impartiality. Even if an arbitrator is accepted by the parties despite the disclosure of circumstances indicating his dependence upon one of them, the arbitrator should not accept this function if he is not certain of his own impartiality.

2.4. An arbitrator may not bow in his decisions to outside pressure or fear of criticism, or be guided by his personal interest.

2.5. An arbitrator may not engage himself in any financial, commercial, professional, family or social activity or connexions, or accept financial or personal favours, which could raise justifiable doubts as to his independence or impartiality. In particular, he may not accept any remuneration for performing the office of arbitrator, save for the remuneration set forth in the Rules of the Court, nor any other direct or indirect financial benefit or gratuity from any party. An arbitrator should avoid any activity or connexions that would raise doubts as to his independence and impartiality also for a period of at least two years after the end of his office.

2.6 An arbitrator should take all reasonable steps to ensure a fair, rapid and economical resolution of a dispute. He should make every effort to stop attempts to delay the proceedings.

2.7 A person who already prior to the commencement of proceedings was sympathetic to the case of one of the parties, or who in any capacity obtained prior knowledge of the subject matter of the dispute exceeding such circumstances as have previously been made public, is not impartial and should not serve as an arbitrator. This applies especially where a prospective arbitrator has issued any opinion on the expected outcome of the dispute.

2.8. An arbitrator who is a partner in or who is employed by a law firm should, when considering his own independence and impartiality, take into account the connexions of other members of this law firm and ensure that in future as well they do not enter into any relationships that could raise serious doubts as to his independence and impartiality. In any case, such connexions should be disclosed to the parties.

3. Disclosure of circumstances that could raise doubts as to an arbitrator's independence and impartiality; resignation of an arbitrator

3.1. A person who has been invited to serve as arbitrator should disclose in the manner set forth in § 28 of the Rules of the Court of Arbitration:
- Financial or personal gains connected with the outcome of arbitration proceedings;
- Current and past (at least for the period of the past 5 years) financial, commercial, professional or family connexions which could raise justifiable doubts as to his independence or impartiality, especially such that might indicate his dependence upon a party or a party's counsel; this duty of disclosure also applies where such connexions concern the arbitrator's close relatives, colleagues and partners;
- The nature and extent of any prior knowledge of the case.

3.2. The duty described in point 3.1 continues after the arbitrator has accepted his post and until the end of the proceedings.

3.3. An arbitrator should immediately resign if a motion for his exclusion is submitted or supported by all the parties to the proceedings, regardless of the justification of such motion and the existence of any grounds therefore. An arbitrator should also resign if only some of the parties have submitted a motion for his exclusion, unless, after careful consideration of the case, he reaches the conclusion that the charges against him are not substantial and his resignation or exclusion could harm or seriously encumber a party. If the arbitrator has no intention of resigning, he should, within 7 days of the receipt of a copy of the motion for his exclusion, submit to the Appointment Committee a written justification of his not resigning.

4. Contacts with the parties

4.1. If a party approaches any person with a proposal to be appointed arbitrator prior to communicating such appointment to the Court, such person may ask this party or its counsel questions concerning the identity of the parties and witnesses and the general nature of the case. He may also reply to questions from the party or its counsel intended to determine whether he is suitably prepared to resolve the type of dispute in question. During such a consultation, the party and its counsel should not be allowed to make any statements about the substance of the case.

4.2. An arbitrator conveys without delay copies of any correspondence received from a party to the Secretariat of the Court. Depending on the subject of such correspondence, only the Secretariat or the chairman of the arbitral tribunal may reply thereto, following the procedure set forth in the Rules of the Court.

4.3. An arbitrator may consult the party by whom or for whom he has been appointed in matters regarding the qualifications, independence and impartiality of candidates for the function of the chairman of the arbitral tribunal. An arbitrator is not bound with the opinion of this party regarding such a candidacy; nevertheless he should act with purpose of ensuring that the chairman would enjoy the confidence of both parties.

5. Diligence and integrity of proceedings

5.1. At each stage of proceedings, the principle of the equality of all parties should be observed and each party treated equally and fairly.

5.2. An arbitrator should display self-control, patience, restraint and respect for the parties.

5.3. An arbitrator should conduct the proceedings diligently and an efficient manner, and achieve the conclusion of the case as promptly as possible.

5.4. An arbitrator may recommend the parties to attempt to reach an amicable settlement. He should not be present at or take part in the parties' talks concerning such a settlement, unless he has been so requested by the parties; if there is more than one arbitrator, they should all take part in such talks. It is impermissible to exercise pressure on a party in order to achieve a settlement.

5.5. An arbitrator should resolve upon all the requests of the parties after having diligently reviewed and considered such requests and after having fully explained all circumstances which are important for the settlement of the dispute.

5.6. An arbitrator may not entrust another person with the task of preparation of the decision concerning the requests of the parties.

6. Confidence and confidentiality connected with the function of arbitrator

6.1. An arbitrator may not use in his own interests, or those of a third party, any information that he has obtained during or in connection with arbitration proceedings, nor disclose such information for purposes not directly connected with the proceedings. An arbitrator should keep secret all information obtained in connection with the proceedings concerning the subject matter thereof.

6.2. The contents of the award should not be disclosed to any party prior to the delivery of the award to the parties in the manner set forth in the Rules.

7. Preparation of the award

7.1. An award should be formulated in a clear and transparent manner and should be complete.

7.2. An award should be expressed in proper language, in a logical manner, and should comply with all the formal requirements prescribed by the Rules of the Court of Arbitration and by the provisions of law. An award should deal with all the matters that were submitted to the arbitrator for his consideration. The settlement of each issue should be formulated in a unequivocal and precise such manner, so that the award would constitute a legally effective settlement of the dispute.

7.3. Reasons for an award should be submitted in an orderly fashion and should present in detail all the substantial arguments raised by the parties as well as the reasons why the arbitrator did or did not follow these arguments.

8. Restrictions of advertisement

8.1. A person active as arbitrator may advertise its activity, personally represent himself to potential parties, and reply to questions concerning the possibility of this person's assuming the function of an arbitrator and participating in the arbitration proceedings, as well as his qualifications and experience.

8.2. Advertising the services of an arbitrator in breach of the following Rules is prohibited

8.3. Restraint should be exercised in advertising one's services as arbitrator. Information concerning the possibility of employing such services of a given person should be limited to:
- A brief description of this person's preparation and professional experience, including arbitration experience;
- A description of the spheres in which this person is professionally engaged or in which he is an expert;
- Information required for establishing contact;
- If applicable, information that this person is entered to the list of arbitrators of a permanent arbitration institution.

Information may not:
- Be incorrect or imprecise;
- Contain comparisons with other arbitrators or with representatives of any professions;
- Contain statements describing the quality of an arbitrator's work or his achievements in the practice of arbitration;
- Suggest the possibility of assuming the function of arbitrator in breach of this Code.