Accepting an Appointment as Arbitrator, Conciliator or Committee Member
When an arbitrator, conciliator or ad hoc Committee member is appointed in an ICSID case, the ICSID Secretariat will write to the appointee requesting the acceptance of the appointment (Arbitration Rule 5(3); Conciliation Rule 5(3), Article 11 of the Arbitration (Additional Facility) Rules, Article 11 of the Conciliation (Additional Facility) Rules). The acceptance must be received by the Secretariat within 15 days of the date of the letter (Arbitration Rule 5(3); Conciliation Rule 5(3), Article 11(3) of the Arbitration (Additional Facility) Rules, Article 11(3) of the Conciliation (Additional Facility) Rules).
The letter seeking acceptance annexes documents regarding the case calendar and schedule of proceedings, as well as information on applicable fees for case-related work and other details on the management of case finances. ICSID aims to ensure that proceedings are time and cost efficient. It therefore encourages prospective arbitrators, conciliators and Committee members to consider their availability during a period of 24 months to ascertain that they have sufficient time to discharge their responsibilities under the ICSID rules and render timely awards, decisions, procedural orders and Commission reports.
The letter seeking acceptance also asks each arbitrator, conciliator and Committee member to specify their nationality(ies). This is to avoid any conflict with the nationality requirements under the ICSID rules (see Article 39 of the ICSID Convention and Arbitration Rule 1(3), as well as Article 7 of the Arbitration (Additional Facility) Rules).
When accepting an appointment, each arbitrator, conciliator and Committee member is required to make a declaration as to their independence and impartiality and give a confidentiality undertaking in the form set forth by the relevant rule (Arbitration Rule 6(2); Conciliation Rule 6(2), Article 13(2) of the Arbitration (Additional Facility) Rules, Article 13(2) of the Conciliation (Additional Facility) Rules). The signed declaration should include a statement of any relevant information, including information in the public domain, regarding past and present professional, business and other relevant relationships (if any) with the parties and their counsel. The statement should cover any circumstances that might raise justifiable doubts about the appointee’s reliability to exercise independent judgment. If there is no such statement to be made, it should be indicated by checking the box “no statement attached”.
There is a continuing obligation promptly to notify the Secretary-General of any relationship or circumstance that arises during the proceeding that might bring into question the independence and impartiality of the arbitrator, conciliator or Committee member.
The case file is provided to each arbitrator, conciliator and Committee member once the Tribunal, Commission or ad hoc Committee has been constituted. The constitution triggers certain procedural time limits, such as the time within which a first session with the parties must be held (see e.g., First Session – ICSID Convention Arbitration).