Overview of Conciliation under the ICSID Convention (2022)
The role of the Conciliation Commission is to clarify the issues in dispute between the parties and to endeavor to bring about agreement on mutually acceptable terms. A Conciliation Commission is composed of a Sole Conciliator or any uneven number of conciliators. During a conciliation, the Commission may request explanations, documents or other information, communicate with the parties jointly or separately, and visit any place connected with the dispute. The parties to a conciliation must cooperate with one another and with the Commission, and provide all relevant explanations, documents or other information and facilitate site visits.
An ICSID Convention conciliation proceeding is governed by:
- the ICSID Convention
- the ICSID Institution Rules
- the ICSID Conciliation Rules and
- the ICSID Administrative and Financial Regulations
The main steps in an ICSID Convention conciliation are depicted in the following flow chart.
The ICSID Convention
The ICSID Convention provides the framework for the conduct of a conciliation proceeding. The main procedural provisions are contained in Chapters III and V to VII of the Convention. The conditions for ICSID Convention conciliation are contained in Chapter II.
All provisions of the Convention are mandatory unless the Convention allows parties to agree otherwise. If a question of procedure arises which is not covered by the Convention or by the applicable Conciliation Rules, the Commission has discretion to decide the question (see Article 33 of the Convention).
The ICSID Institution Rules
The ICSID Institution Rules explain how to institute a conciliation proceeding under the Convention, including the form and contents of the Request for conciliation. They apply to the steps to be taken between filing a Request for conciliation and dispatch of the notice of registration. Article 28 of the Convention also applies to initiation of a conciliation.
The ICSID Conciliation Rules
The ICSID Conciliation Rules govern the conciliation proceeding once a Request for conciliation has been registered. They complement the Convention procedural provisions.
Article 33 of the Convention provides that conciliations will be conducted in accordance with the Conciliation Rules in effect on the date on which the parties consented to conciliation, except as the parties otherwise agree. The current rules came into effect on July 1, 2022.
The ICSID Administrative and Financial Regulations
The ICSID Administrative and Financial Regulations contain provisions concerning:
- the costs of the proceeding (Regulations 14 to 18)
- publication of case-related information by ICSID (Regulation 26)
- functions with respect to individual proceedings, including Secretariat services (Regulations 17, 22, 28 and 29)
- immunities and privileges (Regulations 30 and 31)
- official languages (Regulation 32).