The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) [7.4.1]
The ICSID was established by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States, which entered into force on October 14, 1966, and was ratified by 20 countries. As of 15 of December 2002, 136 countries have ratified the Convention to become Contracting States.
Pursuant to the Convention, ICSID provides facilities for the conciliation and arbitration of disputes between member countries and investors which qualify as nationals of other member countries. Recourse to ICSID conciliation and arbitration is entirely voluntary. However, once the parties have consented to arbitration under the ICSID Convention, neither can unilaterally withdraw its consent. Moreover, all ICSID Contracting States, whether or not parties to the dispute, are required by the Convention to recognize and enforce ICSID arbitral awards.
Provisions on ICSID arbitration are commonly found in investment contracts between governments of member countries and investors from other member countries. Advance consents by governments to submit investment disputes to ICSID arbitration can also be found in about twenty investment laws and over 900 bilateral investment agreements. Similarly, ICSID arbitration is one of the primary mechanisms for the settlement of investment disputes under four recent multilateral trade and investment treaties ( i.e., the North American Free Trade Agreement, the Energy Charter Treaty, the Cartagena Free Trade Agreement, and the Colonia Investment Protocol of Mercosur).ENDNOTES