Code of Conduct

Scottish Economic Society Code of Conduct

The objectives of the Scottish Economic Society (SES) are:

  • to promote the study and teaching of economics on the widest basis, in accordance with the Scottish tradition of political economy inspired by Adam Smith;
  • to provide a forum for the discussion of Scottish economic problems and their relationship to the political and social life of Scotland.

Successor from 1954 to the Scottish Society of Economists founded in 1897, the SES supports an approach to economic explanation which acknowledges the human, social and historical dimensions of economic activity. This accommodates a rich variety of positions on theoretical and policy matters.

The SES is a professional body for economists, whether academic or not; it seeks to represent the collective interests of its members in all relevant contexts, and make a positive and informed contribution to economic and political debate, particularly in Scotland.

To achieve these objectives, a culture is required in which all professional activities, including research and education, are undertaken collegially, ethically and with integrity. 

Members of the SES, as well as those associated with the society through our events and activities, are expected to adhere to the high professional standards required to create such a culture and to encourage others associated with the discipline of economics to do so as well. 

We follow the principles established by the Royal Economic Society (RES) that: 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 the RES, the SES 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.

We aim to create a professional environment in which all are able to freely participate and where all discourse should be conducted in a civil manner. Under no circumstances will bullying or harassment of any kind be tolerated.

The SES aims to promote and support this professional culture in economics through its actions and activities.

Complaints and Sanctions

The SES has adopted the Complaints Policy of the RES 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 including reputational damage to the SES; (v) failure to meet high professional standards in other respects.

If a complaint is upheld, actions taken by the SES 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 SES for a specified period.
  4. A ban on the Respondent attending the SES 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 SES or play a role as a committee or sub-committee member for a specified period or permanently, where the Trustee Board (i.e. Society’s office bearers - the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Managing Editor of the Scottish Journal of Political Economy) has the authority to do so.
  6. Recommendation to the SES Council and the Annual General Meeting that the Respondent be removed as an SES officer and/or council member.
  7. Permanent termination of the Respondent’s membership of the SES and/or their permanent exclusion from events organised by the SES.

It is noted that the Society’s office bearers (the President, Secretary, Treasurer and Managing Editor of the Scottish Journal of Political Economy who are the SES trustees) have a duty to report notifiable events to the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). 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. 

October 2023

Membership enquiries:

Caroline Alcock

Scottish Economic Society: