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 2020 fiscal year.

ICSID administered 303 cases under the ICSID Convention and Additional Facility Rules in FY2020, marking the second highest number of cases administered in a single year. Forty new cases were registered in FY2020—37 under the ICSID Convention Arbitration Rules and three under the Additional Facility Rules.

Year-on-year, demand continues to grow for ICSID's services under other sets of rules, particularly those of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). ICSID provided services for a record 21 cases governed by non-ICSID rules in FY2020. 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.

States offer their consent to ICSID jurisdiction in a variety of treaties, contracts and domestic laws. In FY2020, bilateral investment treaties were the primary instrument invoked (57%), followed by the Energy Charter Treaty (16%), and investment contracts between the investor and the host-State (11%). Other treaties accounted for the remaining 16%.

Basis of Consent
Basis of Consent Invoked in Cases Registered in FY2020

The largest share of cases registered in FY2020 involved States from South America (32%), followed by Eastern Europe and Central Asia (20%), Western Europe (13%), and the Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa (10% each). States in the Central America and the Caribbean region accounted for 7%, North America for 5%, and South and East Asia and the Pacific for 3% of newly registered cases.

Geographic Distribution of Cases
Geographic Distribution of Cases Registered in FY2020

The majority of new cases involved the oil, gas and mining sector (30%) and electric power and other energy sources (20%). These were followed by disputes related to construction (17%), information and communication (10%), finance (7%), transportation (5%), agriculture, fishing and forestry (3%), and services and trade (3%). A mix of other industries accounted for the remaining 5% of cases registered in fiscal year 2020.

Cases by Economic Sector
Distribution of New Cases in FY2020 by Economic Sector

Notably, ICSID concluded a record 68 cases in FY2020, surpassing the previous record of 59 concluded cases in FY2019. This reflects the continued impact of efforts within the Centre to reduce the duration of cases.

Outcomes amongst States and investors remain balanced. Among the cases decided by a tribunal, claims were partly or fully upheld in 47% of cases, dismissed in 35% of cases, declined for lack of jurisdiction in 12% of cases, and dismissed for manifest lack of legal merit in 6% of cases.

Tribunal Decisions
Outcomes of Disputes Decided by Arbitral Tribunals in FY2020

Among cases that were settled or discontinued, 62.5% 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.

Individuals of 44 nationalities were represented amongst the appointments made in the fiscal year, which is the greatest diversity of nationality in arbitrator, conciliator and ad hoc committee member appointments in a single year at ICSID.

Eighty-six percent of appointed arbitrators, conciliators and ad hoc committee members were men and 14% were women. This is a step back from progress made in previous years (i.e. 24% of appointed arbitrators in FY2018 and FY2019 were women). In FY2020, over 21% of the arbitrators appointed by ICSID and 22% by respondents were women, while 2% of appointments made by claimants and none of the appointments made by co-arbitrators were female.

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