In Focus: In-Person, Remote and Hybrid Hearings

A hearing is one of the most important phases in an arbitral proceeding, and ICSID’s services and facilities are designed to ensure their success.

Traditionally, ICSID hearings were held in person—most often at the World Bank Group’s headquarters in Washington D.C. or its conference centre in Paris. In 2019, ICSID opened its first dedicated hearing centre in Washington, D.C., purposefully designed for dispute settlement hearings.

In recent years, tribunals and parties have also increasingly opted to hold sessions, as well as some hearings, by video conference. The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a swift transition to remote hearings across the full range of ICSID hearings. This period demonstrated that remote hearings are a viable option even in hearings that include many participants and are conducted in multiple languages.

A Flexible Approach

Hearing configurations

Going forward, flexibility will be central to ICSID’s service offering. ICSID will continue to provide world-class services, facilities, and technology for in-person and remote hearings. At the same time, hybrid models will also be available to tribunals and parties.

ICSID is uniquely positioned to provide flexible, hybrid hearing models. Its hearing Centre in D.C. is not only a physical place for hearings, but a technological hub as well. Under the guidance of World Bank Group IT technicians and the Tribunal Secretary, it serves to connect conference rooms in different locations. It also convenes court reporters and interpreters, ensuring that these services are seamlessly integrated through the hearing centre’s audio and video technology.

ICSID also has an unparalleled network of conference rooms around the world, thanks to the over 130 country offices of the World Bank Group and over 20 cooperation agreements with other dispute resolution centres. These provide options for participants to connect to a hearing while staying close to home.

For any questions related to ICSID’s hearing facilities and services, contact the Hearings and Conference Team at [email protected]

Learn more

Facilities in Washington, D.C.: An overview of ICSID’s hearing centre in D.C.

Facilities in Paris: An overview of the World Bank’s conference centre, which is frequently used for ICSID hearings.

Other Facilities: A complete list of cooperation agreements between ICSID and other dispute resolution centres.

Virtual Hearings: An overview of ICSID’s services for virtual hearings.