Code of Conduct

The principal aim of the Royal Economic Society is to promote the study of economic science, which it strives to achieve by supporting its members and others involved in the economics discipline. Promoting the study and development of economics requires a culture in which all professional activities, including research, education, advice and communication more generally, are undertaken collegially, ethically and with integrity. The Society expects its members to adhere to the high professional standards that this requires and to encourage others associated with the discipline to do so. The Society also sets these standards for itself, and hence the code of conduct applies to all involved as members or are associated with the Society through events or other activities.

Research should be conducted and presented with honesty, care, transparency, in compliance with all legal requirements, acknowledging limits of expertise and giving due credit to the contributions of others. The provision of advice and other communications in economics should also adhere to these standards. Students at all levels should be treated fairly and courteously. Any real or perceived conflicts of interest should be disclosed in all activities.

In common with other organisations, the Royal Economic Society seeks a professional environment in economics that gives equal opportunity and fair treatment for all, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age or other personal characteristics, political views, status, affiliations or relationships.

Limited only by knowledge and expertise, all are able to freely participate in such a professional environment. Discourse in all forums should be conducted in a civil manner, with each idea or contribution considered on its merits. Under no circumstances will bullying or harassment of any kind be tolerated.

Economists have both an individual responsibility for their own conduct and a collective responsibility to promote high standards of conduct across the profession. The Royal Economic Society will strive to promote and support this professional culture through its actions and activities.

Complaints and Sanctions

The Society has agreed a Complaints Policy in relation to alleged violations of this Code of Conduct. Complaints which fall within the scope of the Complaints Policy and are deemed to be Serious Complaints can result in the imposition of sanctions against an individual found to have breached the Code. Serious Complaints involve situations where breaches involve one or more of the following: (i) bullying or harassment, (ii) discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, age or other personal characteristics, political views, status, affiliations or relationships, (iii) substantial potential effect(s) on the victim(s), (iv) significant damage to the Royal Economic Society, (v) failure to meet high professional standards in other respects.

If a complaint is upheld, actions taken by the Society may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Providing guidance on appropriate behaviour to the Respondent (the person found to have breached the Code).
  2. A letter of reprimand to the Respondent.
  3. Suspension of the Respondent’s membership of the Society for a specified period.
  4. A ban on the Respondent attending the RES event where the offence(s) took place for a specified period of time.
  5. Revocation of the right of the Respondent to hold any office in the Society or play a role as a committee or sub-committee member for a specified period or permanently, where the Trustee Board has the authority to do so.
  6. Recommendation to the RES Council that the Respondent be removed as an RES trustee.
  7. Permanent termination of the Respondent’s membership of the Society and/or their permanent exclusion from events organised by the Society.

It is noted that the Society’s trustees have a duty to report allegations about certain serious incidents to the Charity Commission for England and Wales. Also, any complaint that involves a potential criminal offence or violation of a set of professional standards required by another body will be reported to the appropriate authority.

January 2022