International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is considered to be the leading international arbitration institution devoted to resolving disputes between States and foreign investors, also known as BIT arbitrations.

Based in Washington, D.C. (U.S.A.) and operating under the World Bank, ICSID was established in 1965 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (known as the ICSID Convention or Washington Convention). Over 150 countries have signed the ICSID Convention.

ICSID Arbitrations

The ICSID is an impartial international forum providing facilities for arbitration of international investment disputes. The ICSID does not itself arbitrate disputes but provides the rules and procedures for independent arbitration tribunals to resolve disputes.

Where are ICSID arbitration

proceedings held?

Generally, ICSID proceedings are held at the Centre’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. However, parties may agree to hold their proceeding in another location where ICSID has a pre-established arrangement. These locations include:

World Bank facilities in Paris;

Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague;

Regional Arbitration Centres of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Committee at Cairo, at Kuala Lumpur and at Lagos;

Australian Commercial Disputes Centre at Sydney;

Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration at Melbourne;

Singapore International Arbitration Centre;

Gulf Cooperation Council Commercial Arbitration Centre at Bahrain;

German Institution of Arbitration; and

Maxwell Chambers, Singapore.

Who can bring an arbitration to the ICSID?

A dispute must meet three conditions to qualify for arbitration through ICSID:

The dispute must be between a “Contracting State” to the ICSID Convention and a national of another Contracting State (more than 150 nations have become Contracting States)

The dispute must constitute a legal dispute arising directly from an “investment.”

The disputing parties must have agreed in writing to submit their dispute to ICSID arbitration or conciliation