Overview of Conciliation under the ICSID Convention (2006 Rules)

ICSID conciliation is a cooperative, non-adversarial dispute resolution process. The goal 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. To that end, a Conciliation Commission may request relevant documents, hear witnesses, make site visits and issue recommendations to assist the parties in reaching mutually acceptable terms to resolve their dispute. Parties to conciliation proceedings are expected to cooperate in good faith with the Commission and seriously consider its recommendations.

An ICSID Convention conciliation proceeding is governed by:
The main steps in an ICSID Convention conciliation are depicted in the following flow chart.
Conduct of an ICSID Convention Conciliation


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. These provisions cross-reference other provisions, such as Article 14(1) of the Convention concerning the required qualities of a conciliator. The conditions for jurisdiction are contained in Chapter II.

All provisions of the Convention are mandatory except when 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 Institution Rules

The Institution Rules explain how to institute a conciliation proceeding, 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.

The Conciliation Rules
The Conciliation Rules govern the conciliation proceeding once a request for conciliation has been registered. They complement the ICSID Convention procedural provisions.

Article 33 of the ICSID 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 April 10, 2006: ICSID Conciliation Rules (2006).

The Administratve and Financial Regulations

The Administrative and Financial Regulations contain provisions concerning: