The ICSID Administrative Council is the governing body of ICSID. Its composition, functions and decision-making procedure are provided for in the ICSID Convention (Articles 4 to 8 of the Convention).
Each Member State has one representative on the Administrative Council. States may designate any official as their representative on the Council and may designate an alternate representative to act when the designee is unable to act. If a State does not designate a representative or alternate, the World Bank Governor and Alternate Governor for that State are its representatives on the ICSID Administrative Council.
The President of the World Bank Group is the Chairman of the Administrative Council (Article 5 of the ICSID Convention). The Chairman has no vote on matters before the Administrative Council, but convenes and presides over its meetings.
The Administrative Council plays no role in the administration of individual cases. Its main functions are:
- adopting administrative and financial regulations for the Centre;
- passing rules of procedure for ICSID cases;
- approving arrangements for use of World Bank facilities and services;
- electing the ICSID Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General;
- approving the annual reports and budget of the Centre.
The functions of the Chairman of the Administrative Council include:
- designating ten individuals to each of the ICSID Panels of Arbitrators and of Conciliators (Article 14 of the ICSID Convention);
- constituting conciliation commissions and arbitral tribunals in certain circumstances (Article 30 and Article 38 of the ICSID Convention, Article 6 of the Arbitration (Additional Facility) Rules and Article 10 of the Conciliation (Additional Facility) Rules);
- appointing ad hoc Committees for annulment proceedings (Article 52 of the ICSID Convention);
- deciding proposals to disqualify a sole arbitrator, a majority of a tribunal, or a single member of a tribunal or commission where the other members are equally divided (Article 58 of the ICSID Convention, Article 15 of the Arbitration (Additional Facility) Rules and Article 15 of the Conciliation (Additional Facility) Rules).
Members of the ICSID Administrative Council and its Chairman receive no remuneration from ICSID in respect of their role on the Council. All of these individuals enjoy immunity from legal process with respect to their functions on the Council (Article 21 of the ICSID Convention).
Each State has one vote on the Administrative Council, and there is no weighted voting on any matter. Most decisions of the Administrative Council are taken by a simple majority, although the adoption of procedural rules and the annual budget requires a two-thirds majority approval of the Council (Article 6 of the ICSID Convention). Amendments to the ICSID Convention require the approval of all Member States (Article 66 of the ICSID Convention). Resolutions of the Administrative Council are published in the Annual Report of ICSID.
The Administrative Council must meet at least once a year, and usually does so during the autumn Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group. The Council may convene in person more often if necessary, and may also vote on issues by correspondence (Article 7 of the ICSID Convention).