Rule 8 – Duty to disclose any conflict of interests Mandatory
116.Rule 8 requires an arbitrator (and any umpire, see rule 82) - including when asked to act but not yet appointed - to disclose, without delay, to the parties any circumstances which might reasonably be considered relevant when considering if he or she is impartial or independent. The obligation to disclose continues throughout the arbitral proceedings. If an arbitrator fails to disclose, the court can take that into account as regards his or her expenses in removing them (rule 78).
117.Paragraph (2)(b) extends this duty of disclosure as it applies to a prospective arbitrator (before appointment) to any arbitral appointments referee, other third party or court whom the parties have asked to appoint an arbitrator.
118.The mandatory effect of the rule requires disclosure only. The parties are free to ignore disclosure and appoint a non-independent arbitrator if satisfied that he or she will nevertheless act impartially. A challenge to that arbitrator or an award would only be successful if substantial injustice is shown to have resulted in lack of impartiality, independence or fairness, which may be unlikely in the event of disclosure where the parties have agreed to proceed.