The IBA Council, at its session of May 25, 2013, has approved the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration. The IBA’s International Arbitration Committee and its Task Force on Counsel Conduct have produced guidelines for party representation and counsel conduct in international arbitration. Here is what the IBA have to say about the new guidelines:
“The IBA Guidelines on Party Representation in International Arbitration (the ‘Guidelines’) are inspired by the principle that party representatives should act with integrity and honesty and should not engage in activities designed to produce unnecessary delay or expense, including tactics aimed at obstructing the arbitration proceedings.
The Guidelines are aimed at preserving the integrity and fairness of the arbitration by leveling the playing field and increasing the transparency and predictability of the proceedings. They are based on consent and can be adopted, in whole or in part, by the parties to the arbitration, or by arbitral tribunals, if they determine that they have the authority to do so.
They are not intended to displace otherwise applicable mandatory laws or professional or disciplinary rules, nor are they intended to vest arbitral tribunals with powers otherwise reserved to bars or other professional bodies.
The Guidelines address a limited number of questions relevant to the conduct of the arbitration proceedings, including the extent to which it is permissible for counsel to have ex parte contacts with the arbitrators, the duty of candour of counsel in its submissions to the arbitral tribunal and the presentation of witness and expert evidence, the duty of counsel to cooperate in good faith in the process of document production, the role of counsel in preparing witness and expert testimony, as well as the remedies available to the arbitral tribunal in case of misconduct.”
Where advocates are not lawyers, would it be advantageous for the arbitrator(s) to ask advocates for each side (even if one is a lawyer) to sign/initial the Guidelines ti signal their acceptance of the principles?