Selection and Appointment of Tribunal Members - ICSID Convention Arbitration (2006 Rules)
Parties are not required to select arbitrators from the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators, although they are welcome to do so.
The Convention sets forth certain requirements regarding the nationality and qualifications of appointees to ICSID Tribunals, but the parties are otherwise free to choose whomever they wish.
Requirements for Appointees
A majority of arbitrators on a Tribunal must be nationals of States other than the State party to the dispute and the State whose national is a party to the dispute (Article 39 of the Convention and Arbitration Rule 1(3)).
The nationality rule does not apply if the sole arbitrator or each individual member of the Tribunal is appointed by agreement of the parties.
Where a Tribunal consists of three members, an arbitrator cannot have the same nationality as either party unless both parties agree to that appointment.
In practice, this means that:
- A sole arbitrator may not have the same nationality as either party unless both parties agree.
- If each party has appointed a person of an excluded nationality (as approved by the other party), the parties must also agree on the appointment of the President of the Tribunal.
All ICSID arbitrators must be persons:
- of high moral character;
- with recognized competence in the fields of law, commerce, industry or finance; and
In addition to the requirements established by the Convention, there are several practical considerations that parties should reflect upon when selecting an arbitrator. Although these may vary depending on the specific characteristics and demands of each case, the following factors are generally among the most important:
- Knowledge of the relevant law(s)
- Absence of conflict of interest
- Experience as an arbitrator
- Language proficiency
- Availability of arbitrator/manageability of current caseload
- Cohesiveness of the Tribunal
- Other areas of expertise
The parties should provide ICSID with the following information in respect of an arbitrator appointment:
- complete name;
- contact information (i.e., mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, email); and
- a current curriculum vitae.
If an arbitrator refuses or fails to accept the appointment within 15 days, ICSID will invite the appointing party to nominate another arbitrator.
Default Mechanism for Appointing an Arbitrator
If the parties are unable to appoint all members of the Tribunal within 90 days of the registration of the request for arbitration, either party may request that the Chairman of the ICSID Administrative Council appoint the arbitrator(s) not yet appointed (Article 38 of the ICSID Convention).
When a party makes such a request in respect of the Sole Arbitrator or President of the Tribunal, ICSID first conducts a ballot procedure (see ICSID's sample ballot):
- ICSID provides the parties with a ballot form containing the names of several candidates, who may or may not be members of the ICSID Panel of Arbitrators.
- Each party is given a short time limit to return its completed ballot form, indicating the candidates it accepts or rejects.
- A party is not required to share its ballot with the other party.
- If the parties agree on a candidate from the ballot, that person will be deemed to have been appointed by agreement of the parties.
- If the parties agree on more than one proposed candidate, ICSID selects one of them and informs the parties of the selection.
If there is no agreement by the parties, ICSID names a person from the Panel of Arbitrators, pursuant to Article 38 of the Convention. Before the person is appointed, the parties are given the opportunity to raise any circumstance showing that the person lacks the required qualities under the ICSID Convention (Article 14(1) of the Convention).
The Centre endeavors to complete the appointment process within 30 days of the request for appointment.