ICSID today released its latest caseload statistics. The report examines all ICSID cases going back to the first registered case in 1972, and also looks at trends over the 2019 calendar year.
In 2019, ICSID registered 39 new cases. In line with past years, the majority of new cases were instituted under the ICSID Convention Arbitration Rules (35 cases), followed by the Additional Facility Rules (three cases) and the ICSID Convention Conciliation Rules (one case).
Demand continues to grow for ICSID's services under other sets of rules, such as those of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). In total, ICSID provided services for 18 cases governed by non-ICSID rules in 2019, the majority of which (13 cases) applied the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules. In most of these cases, the ICSID Secretariat provided full administrative services and hearing facilities to the arbitrators and parties—as it does with cases under ICSID Rules.
Outcomes amongst States and investors remain balanced. Among the cases decided by a tribunal, claims were partly or fully upheld in 55% of cases, dismissed in 31% of cases, declined for lack of jurisdiction in 10% of cases, and dismissed for manifest lack of legal merit in 4% of cases.
Among cases that were settled or discontinued, 62% of were settled at the request of both parties; 12.5% were discontinued at the request of one party; 12.5% had a settlement agreement embodied in an award at the parties' request; and 12.5% were discontinued for lack of payment of advances.
The largest share of cases registered in 2019 involved States from South America (26%), followed by the Middle East and North Africa (18%); Eastern Europe and Central Asia (16%); Sub-Saharan Africa (15%); and Western Europe (10%). Central America and the Caribbean; South and East Asia, and the Pacific; and North America each accounted for 5% of new cases.
The majority of new cases involved the oil, gas and mining sector, and electric power and other energy sources—with each accounting for 26% of registered cases in 2019. These were followed by disputes related to construction (15%); transportation (8%); finance, and information and communication (5% each); agriculture, fishing and forestry (2.5%); and water, sanitation and flood protection (2.5%). A mix of other industries accounted for the remaining 10% of cases registered in 2019.
States consent to ICSID jurisdiction in a variety of treaties, contracts and domestic laws. In 2019, bilateral investment treaties were the primary instrument invoked (62%), followed by the Energy Charter Treaty (12%), and investment contracts between the investor and the host-State (10%). Other treaties accounted for the remaining 16%.