Conciliation Procedure - ICSID Convention Conciliation
The goal of the Commission is to clarify the issues in dispute between the parties and to endeavor to bring about agreement on mutually acceptable terms (Article 34 of the ICSID Convention). The parties must cooperate with the Commission in good faith to achieve this goal. To that end, the Commission may ask the parties for relevant documents or explanations, hear witnesses and experts, make site visits and issue recommendations at any time during the proceeding (Conciliation Rules 22 and 23). It may also request evidence from other persons (Conciliation Rule 22(3)).
The recommendations can include specific terms of settlement proposed to the parties or that they refrain from specific acts that would otherwise aggravate the dispute. The Commission must explain to the parties the reasons for the recommendations. It may also establish a time limit for the parties to discuss and agree on the recommendations.
The conciliation procedure may include written statements by the parties and hearings (Conciliation Rules 25 to 28).
Upon the constitution of the Commission, the President must ask the parties to file written statements of their position within 30 days or such longer time as the President may fix (Conciliation Rule 25). The parties may also file other written statements during the proceedings, within the time limits fixed by the Commission.
The parties’ written statements may be accompanied by supporting documents such as documentary evidence, witness statements and expert reports (Conciliation Rule 26).
Hearings of Commissions can be held in person or by telephone or videoconference. They may deal with issues of jurisdiction or the merits of the dispute, either together in a single proceeding or in separate phases. Witnesses and experts may be called by the parties or the Commission to testify during the hearing. If a witness or expert cannot appear in person before the Commission, their evidence can be given in writing or their examination can take place elsewhere (Conciliation Rule 28).
Unless the parties otherwise agree, they will not in any other proceeding be entitled to invoke or rely on views expressed, statements, admissions, or offers of settlement by the other party in the conciliation, or the Commission’s recommendations or Report. The Report must record any agreement about use of such information (Article 35 of the ICSID Convention, Conciliation Rule 32(2)).