Answer ... Under the voluntary International Bar Association Guidelines, a party has a duty to inform the arbitrator, other parties and the arbitration institution about any direct or indirect relationship between it (or a related company) and the arbitrator. Parties must do so at their own initiative before the proceeding commences, or as soon as they become aware of the relationship (International Bar Association, “IBA’s Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest in International Arbitration”, www.ibanet.org). Neither the UNCITRAL Model Law nor the domestic statutes contain the same requirements for parties to disclose any relationship with the arbitrator(s). The onus is typically on the arbitrator to disclose any circumstances likely to give rise to justifiable doubts as to his or her impartiality or independence (UNCITRAL Model Law, Art 12(1); Commercial Arbitration Act (RSC, 1985, c 17 (2nd Supp), Ch 5 Sch 1, Art 12(1); International Commercial Arbitration Act, RSBC 1996, c 233, s 12(1)).
While it is unclear whether a duty of confidentiality arises in respect to international arbitrations, there is a prevalent assumption that parties are under a duty of confidentiality with respect to communications and documents disclosed or prepared in relation to arbitration, except when disclosure is agreed to by the parties or required by law. However, an international arbitration cannot be assumed to be confidential in the absence of an express agreement or applicable rule in the procedural rules selected by the parties. UNCITRAL’s Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings articulate that parties cannot assume that a duty of confidentiality will be recognised in a given jurisdiction unless the parties’ agreement or arbitration rules expressly address confidentiality (UNCITRAL’s Notes on Organizing Arbitral Proceedings, Section 6, at para 31).
With respect to arbitration awards, any duty incumbent on the parties to obey the award arises solely from the contract of submission (Winter v White (1819), 1 Brod & Bing 350 at p357, 129 ER 758).
There is no clear duty to comply with an arbitration agreement. One party’s failure to comply with its obligations pursuant to an arbitration agreement does not exempt the other party from continuing with the arbitration process; the arbitrator may address the breach of the arbitration agreement (J Brian Casey, Arbitration Law of Canada: Practice and Procedure, 3rd ed (Huntington: JurisNet, LLC, 2017) at para 3.14, citing Bremer Vulkan Schiffbau and Maschinenfabrik v South India Shipping Corp,  AC 909 (HL); Paal Wilson & Co. A/S v Partenreederei Hannah Blumenthal,  1 All ER 34 (HL)).
In Quebec, neither the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) nor the Civil Code of Quebec (CCQ) contains provisions regarding any express duties on parties in relation to the arbitration.