ICSID today released its latest proposals for amendment of its procedural rules for the resolution of international investment disputes. The proposals build on extensive consultation with States and the public over the last year.
Working Paper #3: Proposals for Amendment of the ICSID Rules features the updated draft rules for arbitration, mediation, conciliation and fact-finding, as well as commentary on the rationale behind the proposed changes. It follows Working Paper #1 (published in August 2018) and Working Paper #2 (published in March 2019).
Over the last year, ICSID has held over 75 in-person and online consultations and received over a 100 written comments from States and the public.
“We have made tremendous progress since publishing the first working paper almost exactly a year ago,” said Meg Kinnear, ICSID Secretary-General. “This is thanks to the strong engagement we have received from our Member States, legal practitioners, academics and NGOs.”
ICSID embarked on the process of updating its procedural rules for investor-State dispute settlement in late 2016. The overarching goals are to streamline and modernize the rules, reduce the time and cost of proceedings, leverage new technology to lessen the environmental footprint of cases, and maintain balance amongst the interests of States and investors.
Over the course of 2017, ICSID also invited ideas from States and the public on topics that they wished to see addressed in the revised rules. ICSID received a wide-range of suggestions, including:
• Enhancing transparency in the conduct and outcome of proceedings (for example, through increased publication of awards, decisions and orders)
• Mandating the disclosure of third-party funding
• Requiring more extensive declarations of independence and impartiality from arbitrators, mediators, conciliators and ad-hoc committee members
• Providing parties with the option to fast-track proceedings through the use of expedited arbitration rules
These and other topics have also been addressed in the proposed rule changes.
ICSID Member States are meeting in November 2019 to consult on the latest draft proposals. Amendments to the ICSID Convention Rules require the approval of two-thirds of Member States, and a simple majority in the case of the Additional Facility Rules, Fact-Finding, and Mediation Rules.