NEW YORK -- A group of international lawyers this week approved a code of conduct for time-share developers, and agreed to lobby for its adoption around the world.

The code was approved by lawyers meeting at the International Bar Association's biennial conference. The code is designed to protect people who purchase time shares -- blocks of time in condominiums or other vacation homes -- from rogue developers.

IBA real estate committee chairman Andrew Primrose said regulating time shares would boost flagging confidence in the industry.

Primrose, a London-based lawyer, said a minority of developers "use hard-sell techniques and make false promises. The responsible developers are furious about them."

Under the IBA code, time-share agreements would not be binding on purchasers until they had been told their rights under the deal and what additional expenses they would incur, such as maintenance charges.

There would also be a 10-day period during which buyers could cancel contracts and receive their deposits back without penalty or deductions.

"I have had the most extraordinary example of hardheaded businessmen on holiday being persuaded to sign up for {a} time share," Primrose said. "They sign up and lock themselves in an agreement which they did not fully understand.

"It is essential to get an international network of regulation, where necessary backed by legislation, to protect time-share buyers at home and abroad," he said.