ICSID has just published a report on its caseload, and there is plenty of interesting data. The one that particularly caught my attention is the chart on the basis of consent invoked to establish ICSID jurisdiction. Sixty-two percent of all cases came from Bilateral Investment Treaties, while twenty-two percent came from investment contracts. An additional eleven percent came from various multilateral treaties (Energy Charter 5%, NAFTA 4%, ASEAN 1%, DR-CAFTA 1%), and five percent came from the investment law of the host state. The fact that ICSID cases are derived from so many different sources–domestic law, contracts, bilateral treaties, and multilateral treaties–underscores the vibrancy of ICSID investment arbitration.

The other fascinating chart is the geographic distribution of ICSID cases by state party. Leading the way is South America (30%), followed by Eastern Europe and Central Asia (22%), Sub-Saharan Africa (16%), Middle East and North Africa (10%), South & East Asia and the Pacific (8%), Central America and the Caribbean (7%) and North America (6%). Again, the statistics confirm the widespread use of ICSID arbitration around the globe.

Finally, the frequency with which ICSID cases are pursued is also significant, with over half of all ICSID cases in its thirty-seven year history registered in the past six years. All of these statistics paint a fairly rosy picture of ICSID arbitration.

There are key statistics that are missing of course, which might paint a different picture. The cost of each ICSID case, the length of each ICSID proceeding, the fees charged by arbitrators, the success rate of host states, the number of dissents filed, etc. But much of that data can be found (or soon will be available) as empiricists in the academy plum the depths of investment arbitration for nuggets of useful information.

Roger Alford


To make sure you do not miss out on regular updates from the Kluwer Arbitration Blog, please subscribe here. To submit a proposal for a blog post, please consult our Editorial Guidelines.

Profile Navigator and Relationship Indicator
Access 17,000+ data-driven profiles of arbitrators, expert witnesses, and counsels, derived from Kluwer Arbitration's comprehensive collection of international cases and awards and appointment data of leading arbitral institutions, to uncover potential conflicts of interest.

Learn how Kluwer Arbitration can support you.

Kluwer Arbitration
This page as PDF

One comment

  1. As for statistics on ICSID, I have been working on a paper assessing the voting behavior of arbitrators at the ICSID. (Electronic copy available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1514882 – working paper series). I would love to hear others’ thoughts on the subject. Tks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.