November 12, 2021: The ICSID Secretariat today released its sixth Working Paper on proposed amendments to the Centre’s procedural rules for resolving international investment disputes.
Working Paper # 6: Proposals for Amendment of the ICSID Rules marks the culmination of a five-year consultative process on updating the ICSID rules for arbitration, conciliation and fact-finding. These are by far the most commonly used procedures for resolving international investment disputes between host States and foreign investors. In response to requests from States and investors, ICSID has also developed an entirely new set of procedural rules for mediation.
Working Paper # 6 addresses the small number of topics that States and the public had raised on the previous iteration of the proposed amendments to the ICSID rules. Comments received on Working Paper # 5 are available on the ICSID website.
Also published today are the complete set of amended rules in ICSID’s three official languages—English, French and Spanish. ICSID plans to table these rules for a vote of approval in early 2022. Amendments to the ICSID Convention Rules require the approval of two-thirds of Member States, and a majority in the case of the Additional Facility Rules, Fact-Finding, and Mediation Rules.
The project of amending the ICSID rules has progressed steadily since late 2016 when ICSID began consulting with Members States and the public, setting in motion the most comprehensive and transparent rule-amendment process in ICSID’s history.
“The proposed amended ICSID rules are the outcome of countless hours devoted by our Member State representatives, users of the ICSID system, legal specialists in the field of international investment law, and my colleagues in the ICSID Secretariat,” said Meg Kinnear, ICSID Secretary-General. “We set ourselves a high-bar when we launched the rule amendment process and thanks to their expertise and hard work—we have more than risen to the challenge. The result is a set of highly effective and innovative rules that maintain the requisite balance between investors and States.”
The amended ICSID rules will usher in the most significant changes to ICSID procedures in over 50 years. They reflect a concerted effort to simplify and streamline the rules in order to reduce the time, cost and environmental footprint of cases.
Notable features of the amended rules include:
- Greater transparency in the conduct and outcome of proceedings (for example, through increased publication of awards, decisions and orders)
- Required disclosure by parties of third-party funding
- The option to fast-track proceedings through the use of expedited arbitration rules
- Broader access to ICSID dispute resolution procedures; for example, by permitting Regional Economic Integration Organizations—such as the European Union—to utilize ICSID’s Additional Facility Rules for Arbitration and Conciliation
- The introduction of state-of-the-art Mediation Rules that are available to all investors and States based on their consent
Further information on the ICSID rule amendment process—including previous Working Papers and the input received on them—is available on the ICSID website at https://icsid.worldbank.org/resources/rules-amendments