Overview of an UNCITRAL Arbitration Administered by ICSID

The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules are a comprehensive set of rules upon which parties may agree for the conduct of their arbitral proceeding. 

At present, there are three different versions of these rules:

  1. the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (1976);
  2. the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (as revised in 2010); and
  3. the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules (with new Article 1, paragraph 4, as adopted in 2013), which incorporates, where applicable, the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency for Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (“Rules on Transparency”). In all other respects, the 2013 UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules remain unchanged from the 2010 revised version.

Applicable Rules

Unless otherwise agreed, parties to an arbitration agreement concluded after August 15, 2010 are presumed to have referred to the version of the Rules in effect on the date of commencement of the arbitration. This presumption, however, does not apply where there is an agreement to apply a different version of the Rules. Additionally, the presumption would not apply where the arbitration agreement has been concluded by accepting after August 15, 2010 an offer made before that date (e.g. an offer to arbitrate under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules made in an investment Treaty concluded before August 15, 2010).

The Rules on Transparency, which are explicitly incorporated in the 2013 version of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, apply in relation to disputes arising out of treaties concluded prior to April 1, 2014, when Parties to the relevant treaty, or disputing parties, agree to their application.  The Parties to the relevant treaty may do so, among others means, by joining the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (New York, 2014) (the "Mauritius Convention on Transparency"). 

As for disputes arising out of treaties concluded on or after April 1, 2014, the Rules on Transparency apply when investor-State arbitration is initiated under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, unless the parties otherwise agree.

Transparency and Publication

The procedural details of UNCITRAL cases administered by ICSID will only be published on the ICSID website if all parties to the dispute agree or the applicable transparency rules so require.

In UNCITRAL cases administered by ICSID in which the Rules on Transparency are applicable, the Secretariat can assist the parties in complying with the transparency requirements. ICSID has extensive experience organizing public hearings and can also publish the information required by the Rules on Transparency on the ICSID website.