International Centre for the
Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
Convention on the
Settlement of Investment Disputes
Between States and Nationals of Other States
Done at Washington, 18 March 1965, entered into force, 14
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR SETTLEMENT OF
JURISDICTION OF THE CENTRE
REPLACEMENT AND DISQUALIFICATION OF CONCILIATORS AND ARBITRATORS
COST OF PROCEEDINGS
PLACE OF PROCEEDINGS
DISPUTES BETWEEN CONTRACTING STATES
CONVENTION ON THE SETTLEMENT OF
INVESTMENT DISPUTES BETWEEN STATES
AND NATIONALS OF OTHER STATES
The Contracting States
Considering the need for international cooperation for economic development, and
the role of private international investment therein;
Bearing in mind the possibility that from time to time disputes may arise in connection
with such investment between Contracting States and nationals of other Contracting States;
Recognizing that while such disputes would usually be subject to national legal
processes, international methods of settlement may be appropriate in certain cases;
Attaching particular importance to the availability of facilities for international
conciliation or arbitration to which Contracting States and nationals of other Contracting
States may submit such disputes if they so desire;
Desiring to establish such facilities under the auspices of the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development;
Recognizing that mutual consent by the parties to submit such disputes to conciliation
or to arbitration through such facilities constitutes a binding agreement which requires
in particular that due consideration be given to any recommendation of conciliators, and
that any arbitral award be complied with; and
Declaring that no Contracting State shall by the mere fact of its ratification,
acceptance or approval of this Convention and without its consent be deemed to be under
any obligation to submit any particular dispute to conciliation or arbitration,
Have agreed as follows:
International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
Establishment and Organization
There is hereby established the International Centre for Settlement of
Investment Disputes (hereinafter called the Centre).
The purpose of the Centre shall be to provide facilities for conciliation
and arbitration of investment disputes between Contracting States and nationals of other
Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.
The seat of the Centre shall be at the principal office of the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (hereinafter called the Bank). The seat may be moved to
another place by decision of the Administrative Council adopted by a majority of
two-thirds of its members.
The Centre shall have an Administrative Council and a Secretariat and shall maintain a
Panel of Conciliators and a Panel of Arbitrators.
The Administrative Council
The Administrative Council shall be composed of one representative of each
Contracting State. An alternate may act as representative in case of his principal's
absence from a meeting or inability to act.
In the absence of a contrary designation, each governor and alternate
governor of the Bank appointed by a Contracting State shall be ex officio its
representative and its alternate respectively.
The President of the Bank shall be ex officio Chairman of the Administrative Council
(hereinafter called the Chairman) but shall have no vote. During his absence or inability
to act and during any vacancy in the office of President of the Bank, the person for the
time being acting as President shall act as Chairman of the Administrative Council.
Without prejudice to the powers and functions vested in it by other
provisions of this Convention, the Administrative Council shall:
adopt the administrative and financial regulations of the Centre;
adopt the rules of procedure for the institution of conciliation and
adopt the rules of procedure for conciliation and arbitration proceedings
(hereinafter called the Conciliation Rules and the Arbitration Rules);
approve arrangements with the Bank for the use of the Bank's administrative
facilities and services;
determine the conditions of service of the Secretary-General and of any
adopt the annual budget of revenues and expenditures of the Centre;
approve the annual report on the operation of the Centre.
The decisions referred to in sub-paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (f) above shall be
adopted by a majority of two-thirds of the members of the Administrative Council.
The Administrative Council may appoint such committees as it considers
The Administrative Council shall also exercise such other powers and
perform such other functions as it shall determine to be necessary for the implementation
of the provisions of this Convention.
The Administrative Council shall hold an annual meeting and such other
meetings as may be determined by the Council, or convened by the Chairman, or convened by
the Secretary-General at the request of not less than five members of the Council.
Each member of the Administrative Council shall have one vote and, except
as otherwise herein provided, all matters before the Council shall be decided by a
majority of the votes cast.
A quorum for any meeting of the Administrative Council shall be a majority
of its members.
The Administrative Council may establish, by a majority of two-thirds of
its members, a procedure whereby the Chairman may seek a vote of the Council without
convening a meeting of the Council. The vote shall be considered valid only if the
majority of the members of the Council cast their votes within the time limit fixed by the
Members of the Administrative Council and the Chairman shall serve without remuneration
from the Centre.
The Secretariat shall consist of a Secretary-General, one or more Deputy
Secretaries-General and staff.
The Secretary-General and any Deputy Secretary-General shall be elected by
the Administrative Council by a majority of two-thirds of its members upon the nomination
of the Chairman for a term of service not exceeding six years and shall be eligible for
re-election. After consulting the members of the Administrative Council, the Chairman
shall propose one or more candidates for each such office.
The offices of Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General shall be
incompatible with the exercise of any political function. Neither the Secretary-General
nor any Deputy Secretary-General may hold any other employment or engage in any other
occupation except with the approval of the Administrative Council.
During the Secretary-General's absence or inability to act, and during any
vacancy of the office of Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General shall act as
Secretary-General. If there shall be more than one Deputy Secretary-General, the
Administrative Council shall determine in advance the order in which they shall act as
The Secretary-General shall be the legal representative and the principal officer of
the Centre and shall be responsible for its administration, including the appointment of
staff, in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and the rules adopted by the
Administrative Council. He shall perform the function of registrar and shall have the
power to authenticate arbitral awards rendered pursuant to this Convention, and to certify
The Panel of Conciliators and the Panel of Arbitrators shall each consist of qualified
persons, designated as hereinafter provided, who are willing to serve thereon.
Each Contracting State may designate to each Panel four persons who may but
need not be its nationals.
The Chairman may designate ten persons to each Panel. The persons so
designated to a Panel shall each have a different nationality.
Persons designated to serve on the Panels shall be persons of high moral
character and recognized competence in the fields of law, commerce; industry or finance,
who may be relied upon to exercise independent judgment. Competence in the field of law
shall be of particular importance in the case of persons on the Panel of Arbitrators.
The Chairman, in designating persons to serve on the Panels, shall in
addition pay due regard to the importance of assuring representation on the Panels of the
principal legal systems of the world and of the main forms of economic activity.
Panel members shall serve for renewable periods of six years.
In case of death or resignation of a member of a Panel, the authority which
designated the member shall have the right to designate another person to serve for the
remainder of that member's term.
Panel members shall continue in office until their successors have been
A person may serve on both Panels.
If a person shall have been designated to serve on the same Panel by more
than one Contracting State, or by one or more Contracting States and the Chairman, he
shall be deemed to have been designated by the authority which first designated him or, if
one such authority is the State of which he is a national, by that State.
All designations shall be notified to the Secretary-General and shall take
effect from the date on which the notification is received.
Financing the Centre
If the expenditure of the Centre cannot be met out of charges for the use of its
facilities, or out of other receipts, the excess shall be borne by Contracting States
which are members of the Bank in proportion to their respective subscriptions to the
capital stock of the Bank, and by Contracting States which are not members of the Bank in
accordance with rules adopted by the Administrative Council.
Status, Immunities and Privileges
The Centre shall have full international legal personality. The legal capacity of the
Centre shall include the capacity:
to acquire and dispose of movable and immovable property;
to institute legal proceedings.
To enable the Centre to fulfil its functions, it shall enjoy in the territories of each
Contracting State the immunities and privileges set forth in this Section.
The Centre, its property and assets shall enjoy immunity from all legal process, except
when the Centre waives this immunity.
The Chairman, the members of the Administrative Council, persons acting as conciliators
or arbitrators or members of a Committee appointed pursuant to paragraph (3) of Article
52, and the officers and employees of the Secretariat
shall enjoy immunity from legal process with respect to acts performed by
them in the exercise of their functions, except when the Centre waives this immunity;
not being local nationals, shall enjoy the same immunities from immigration
restrictions, alien registration requirements and national service obligations, the same
facilities as regards exchange restrictions and the same treatment in respect of
travelling facilities as are accorded by Contracting States to the representatives,
officials and employees of comparable rank of other Contracting States.
The provisions of Article 21 shall apply to persons appearing in proceedings under this
Convention as parties, agents, counsel, advocates, witnesses or experts; provided,
however, that sub-paragraph (b) thereof shall apply only in connection with their travel
to and from, and their stay at, the place where the proceedings are held.
The archives of the Centre shall be inviolable, wherever they may be.
With regard to its official communications, the Centre shall be accorded by
each Contracting State treatment not less favourable than that accorded to other
The Centre, its assets, property and income, and its operations and
transactions authorized by this Convention shall be exempt from all taxation and customs
duties. The Centre shall also be exempt from liability for the collection or payment of
any taxes or customs duties.
Except in the case of local nationals, no tax shall be levied on or in
respect of expense allowances paid by the Centre to the Chairman or members of the
Administrative Council, or on or in respect of salaries, expense allowances or other
emoluments paid by the Centre to officials or employees of the Secretariat.
No tax shall be levied on or in respect of fees or expense allowances
received by persons acting as conciliators, or arbitrators, or members of a Committee
appointed pursuant to paragraph (3) of Article 52, in proceedings under this Convention,
if the sole jurisdictional basis for such tax is the location of the Centre or the place
where such proceedings are conducted or the place where such fees or allowances are paid.
Jurisdiction of the Centre
The jurisdiction of the Centre shall extend to any legal dispute arising
directly out of an investment, between a Contracting State (or any constituent subdivision
or agency of a Contracting State designated to the Centre by that State) and a national of
another Contracting State, which the parties to the dispute consent in writing to submit
to the Centre. When the parties have given their consent, no party may withdraw its
"National of another Contracting State" means:
any natural person who had the nationality of a Contracting State other
than the State party to the dispute on the date on which the parties consented to submit
such dispute to conciliation or arbitration as well as on the date on which the request
was registered pursuant to paragraph (3) of Article 28 or paragraph (3) of Article 36, but
does not include any person who on either date also had the nationality of the Contracting
State party to the dispute; and
any juridical person which had the nationality of a Contracting State other
than the State party to the dispute on the date on which the parties consented to submit
such dispute to conciliation or arbitration and any juridical person which had the
nationality of the Contracting State party to the dispute on that date and which, because
of foreign control, the parties have agreed should be treated as a national of another
Contracting State for the purposes of this Convention.
Consent by a constituent subdivision or agency of a Contracting State shall
require the approval of that State unless that State notifies the Centre that no such
approval is required.
Any Contracting State may, at the time of ratification, acceptance or
approval of this Convention or at any time thereafter, notify the Centre of the class or
classes of disputes which it would or would not consider submitting to the jurisdiction of
the Centre. The Secretary-General shall forthwith transmit such notification to all
Contracting States. Such notification shall not constitute the consent required by
Consent of the parties to arbitration under this Convention shall, unless
otherwise stated, be deemed consent to such arbitration to the exclusion of any other
remedy. A Contracting State may require the exhaustion of local administrative or judicial
remedies as a condition of its consent to arbitration under this Convention.
No Contracting State shall give diplomatic protection, or bring an
international claim, in respect of a dispute which one of its nationals and another
Contracting State shall have consented to submit or shall have submitted to arbitration
under this Convention, unless such other Contracting State shall have failed to abide by
and comply with the award rendered in such dispute.
Diplomatic protection, for the purposes of paragraph (1), shall not
include informal diplomatic exchanges for the sole purpose of facilitating a settlement of
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