As international arbitration has grown in importance for the resolution of major international disputes, so has the promulgation of guidelines, sometimes referred to as protocols, setting out best practices for the conduct of arbitration proceedings. Guidelines may address such issues as the organization and management of proceedings and the disclosure by arbitrators of possible conflicts of interest. To this group has recently been added a “consultation draft” of “Guidelines on Standards of Practice in International Arbitration,” promulgated by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA), an international organization of arbitration specialists.

The draft guidelines were released by a task force that was created to “promote minimum civility standards within the arbitration community and provide participants in the arbitral process with a set of guidelines on the subject.” The guidelines “originated from a concern that there have been repeated examples in international arbitration practice of conduct that falls below minimum civility standards …” After carrying out a survey of professional standards, ethical rules, and civility guidelines” the task force concluded that there was an “evident gap in the international arbitration space where is no official instrument memorializing the principles of civility in the context of an international arbitration proceeding.”

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