International Investment Law Research Guide

This guide features resources on international investment law, in general, and investor-state arbitration, in particular.

Arbitral Institutions & Procedural Rules

Investment treaties and national laws governing foreign direct investment often designate a forum for arbitrating disputes between foreign investors and sovereign states.  ICSID, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, is the most frequently designated forum, but another arbitral institution specializing in the resolution of cross-border commercial disputes also may be designated.  

Such institutions usually provide a neutral set of procedural rules, maintain a roster of qualified arbitrators, resolve challenges to the selection of arbitrators, and provide space for holding hearings.  If the relevant investment treaty or law does not designate a forum, the parties may select an arbitral institution of their choice to administer the arbitration or proceed on an ad hoc basis without the assistance of an arbitral institution.

International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

ICSID was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes Between States and Nationals of Other States.  Under the terms of the Convention, ICSID provides arbitration services, as well as mediation and conciliation services, to resolve disputes between a contracting state and foreign investors from another contracting state. 

The ICSID website provides access to the following information:

Other Arbitral Institutions That Frequently Administer Investor-State Arbitrations

Listed below are links to the websites of some of the institutions, other than ICSID, that regularly administer investor-state arbitrations. For a more comprehensive listing of arbitral institutions worldwide, consult the Arbitral Institutes Directory maintained by the International Council for Commercial Arbitration, which can be browsed alphabetically or by country.  Most arbitral institutions post current and prior editions of their procedural rules on their websites, from which they are available for download in PDF format. 

Online Access to Arbitration Rules Issued by Multiple Institutions

The subscription-based resources described below provide online access to current (and sometimes also superseded) arbitration rules issued by multiple arbitral institutions.  Jus Mundi and Kluwer Arbitration offer the broadest coverage.  Westlaw's coverage is more selective.

  • Jus Mundi
    To browse, select "Rules" as the content type below the search box.  After the page refreshes, use the filters on the right to narrow by type of rules, abitral institution, and date of adoption.  To search within the full texts of arbitration rules, enter your search terms in the search box at the top of the page after first selecting "Rules" as the content type.
  • Kluwer Arbitration
    Select "Organizations" on the menu bar below the search box.  Then select the desired arbitral institution from the menu.  After the page refreshes, select Rules from the content menu.  To search within the full texts of arbitration rules, click on the white triangle to the left of the search box to display the search filters.  Select "Rules" as the content type and enter one or more search terms in the search box.
  • Westlaw
    Westlaw offers procedural rules from two dozen international arbitral institutions.  Select the rules of the desired arbitral institution from the alphabetical list.  To search across the full texts of rules issued by all of the institutions listed, enter search terms in the search box at the top of the page.