As soon as a party has filed a request for arbitration with the prescribed lodging fee, ICSID sends the request to the other party and reviews the request to determine whether it can be registered. This screening process is mandated by Article 36(3)
of the ICSID Convention and Institution Rule 6.
The Screening Process
The Secretary-General of ICSID must determine whether the dispute is manifestly outside the jurisdiction of the Centre as soon as possible after the filing of the request for arbitration. This determination is made on the basis of the information contained in the request.
If one of the requirements in Article 25
of the ICSID Convention is manifestly
lacking, the Secretary-General must refuse to register the request. Otherwise the dispute must be registered and the Tribunal can address objections. The decision to register the request is without prejudice to the powers of the Tribunal with regard to jurisdiction, competence and the merits (Institution Rule 7
The screening process takes on average three weeks, depending on whether ICSID needs clarifications, additional information or documentation from the requesting party.
The notice of registration is sent to the parties and basic case details
are posted on ICSID’s website. All significant steps in the proceeding are subsequently made publicly available under “Procedural Details” of that case.
- Eloïse Obadia & Frauke Nitschke, Chapter 4: The Role of the Secretariat, Litigating International Investment Disputes (Chiara Giorgetti ed.), Brill / Nijhoff (2014)
- Sergio Puig & Chester Brown, The Secretary-General’s Power to Refuse to Register a Request for Arbitration under the ICSID Convention, ICSID Review—Foreign Investment Law Journal, Vol. 27, No. 1, pp. 172-191 (2012)
- Martina Polasek, The Threshold for Registration of a Request for Arbitration under the ICSID Convention, Dispute Resolution International, Vol. 5, No. 2, p. 177 (2011)
- Christoph H. Schreuer, Loretta Malintoppi, August Reinisch & Anthony Sinclair, Article 36 – Request for Arbitration, The ICSID Convention: A Commentary (2nd ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 455 (2009)