One of the fundamental missions of ECDR is to promote peaceful settlement of disputes. Accredited professionals at ECDR are convinced that resolving disputes by negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, hybrid procedures, and other types of primary dispute resolution greatly contributes to rapid, permanent and final resolution of disputes of various kinds.

The purpose of this document is to provide ethics in the conduct and behavior and the highest level of competence, which includes honesty, integrity, impartiality, independence and fair enforcement of judgment in resolving disputes by accredited experts at ECDR. Ethical standards of ECDR are designed to establish and maintain a high standard of professional skills of experts who help resolving conflicts and strengthen their reputation and integrity, as well as for the education of the general public and informing users of primary dispute resolution. Acceptance and recognition of these standards is a condition for the accreditation of experts at ECDR. The method of selection and accreditation of experts who conduct dispute resolution procedures, are defined with ECDR Rules on accreditation and keeping the register of arbitrators, mediators, neutral evaluators and other experts for resolving disputes that are an integral part of this Code. For the interpretation of these standards Council for ethical issues at ECDR is responsible.



In relation to the parties and to the profession are neutrals obliged to act fairly and impartially, in good faith and diligent. Their own interests cannot be invoked at the expense of the interests of the clients.

Neutrals may not reflect any bias in relation to individuals or institutions involved in the dispute, they must be reasonably available, when required by the clients and must take care to ensure that clients are informed about the procedure in which they are involved.




Neutral has to be impartial in relation to parties, which means all parties of the dispute must be treated equally.


Informed consent

Neutral must ensure that all parties understand the nature of the procedures, rules of procedure, the role of the neutral and relationship of the parties in relation to him/her.



For the primary dispute resolution procedure it is important to maintain confidentiality. With this we encourage openness, full disclosure of issues and increase parties’ confidence in neutrals. When in the individual types of procedures, confidentiality cannot be protected, neutral has to warn parties. All information which a party has designated as confidential, neutral has to preserve as confidential.


Conflict of interest

Neutral should avoid starting or continuing its participation in any dispute, if he/she considers, or if he/she creates an impression that his/her involvement may pose a conflict of interest. Neutral should disclose any circumstance that might cause or create an impression of a conflict of interest and any circumstance which could put under question his/her impartiality. Duty to disclose is a continuous obligation of a neutral, from the beginning to the end of the procedure of the primary dispute resolution.



Neutral must focus all their efforts on a rapid course of the procedure.


Settlement and its consequences

Neutral has to take care that settlement is reached in a completely sound procedure. Neutral should not impose its solutions to the parties and in mediating the dispute he/she should not rely on any of his/her own interests. If the neutral doubts about the possible consequences of the proposed agreement and about the needs of the parties, he/she must inform them. By complying with this standard neutral may realize that it is reasonable to inform parties to acquire further specialized advice or to withdraw from the process. In any event the neutral should not violate the principle of confidentiality.


Parties without a representative

Neutral should be careful to situations where a party in a procedure is not represented and warn her of the possible consequences. The neutral is obliged to note the party to self-asses her own interests, if he/she considers that this is dictated by the needs of the party.


Using different procedures

Using multiple procedures for resolving the dispute by the same neutral is particularly demanding. Where such use is agreed between the parties, the neutral has to inform the parties at the beginning of the procedure, about the nature of the procedure and the consequences of the disclosure of any information during the procedure that neutral may later use in the context of its arbitration powers or that neutral could disclosure to other persons who may decide in the procedure. Neutral must in this case before the procedure starts explain to the parties the consequences and allow the parties to choose another neutral for the procedure following the first procedure of the primary dispute resolution. Neutral should also advise parties on the transition from one method of resolving disputes to the other.


Expertise and skills

Neutral can accept cooperation only in those cases in which he has sufficient knowledge and skills regarding the appropriate procedure and nature of the dispute so that it could be effectively solved. Neutral is responsible for maintaining his/her expertise.


Disclosure of fees

The duty of a neutral is to explain to the parties at the very start of the procedure, the basis for the payment of the fees when charged.


Support of proffesion

Experienced neutral should participate in the development and training of new neutrals and should be involved in efforts to educate the public regarding the values and the use of primary dispute resolution. Neutral should also provide pro-bono services, where appropriate.


Responsibility of a neutral in the same case

In the event that a number of neutrals are involved in the resolution of the dispute each of them has a duty to inform others that he/she will be involved in the resolving of the dispute. Neutrals who help resolve disputes of the same parties are obliged to maintain open and professional relationships with each other.



Neutral should consider restrictions at advertising services. Advertising should present services honestly and cannot promise concrete solutions that would priority one party. Also, it is not permitted to give or accept any reward for the referrals of matters to the conduct of primary dispute resolution procedures.