International Investment Law Research Guide

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

Electronic Sources for Arbitral Awards & Court Decisions

Search Tips and Resource Selection

If the award or decision you are seeking was entered in an arbitration administered by ICSID, and you know the ICSID case number, the free ICSID Case Law Database is the best place to start.  For awards entered in arbitrations administered by other institutions, or in ad hoc arbitrations, members of the Georgetown Law community should begin with one of the subscription-based sources described below, as they offer the most sophisticated searching and browsing tools.

For those without access to subscription-based resources, the free sources described below are good alternatives.  Bear in mind that no source -- free or subscription-based -- offers comprehensive coverage of arbitral awards and decisions entered in investor-state disputes.  You may need to consult multiple resources to find what you are seeking.

Subscription Electronic Sources

  • Investment Claims
    The full text of an arbitral award retrieved from Investment Claims includes a headnote with many editorial enhancements. These include a procedural history, links to applicable treaties or national laws, a list of subject tags that describe the substance of the dispute and the key issues, as well as a list of prior arbitral decisions cited by the panel.   As with other platforms, coverage is selective, not comprehensive.  To search for decisions and awards by party name, open the Advanced Search template by clicking on the link below the basic search box.  Select "Investor/Party" as the search field from the menu. Specify the state party, if desired, and select "Arbitral Cases" as the Content Type.
  • Investor-State Law Guide (ISLG)
    The ISLG's documents database includes arbitral decisions and awards, party pleadings, amicus briefs, and procedural orders.  To access this content, select "Dispute Documents" on the Document Library menu on the lower left side of the homepage.  On the following page, enter the name of the claimant, the respondent state, and other criteria in the appropriate boxes. Documents may be downloaded in PDF format.
  • Jus Mundi
    Jus Mundi's coverage is broadest for arbitral decisions and awards issued within the past 10 years.  Begin by selecting "Cases" from the main menu.  After the page refreshes, use the filter on the right to select "Investor-State" as the Type of Case.  To search by keyword, enter search terms in the search box at the top.  Apply additional filters before or after searching.  Note that academic users cannot filter by party name or by industry.  When you open the full text of an award, Jus Mundi provides a hyperlinked list of subsequent arbitral and court decisions that have cited the award.
  • Kluwer Arbitration
    To search for arbitral awards and court decisions, click on the white triangle to the left of the search box to display the pre-search filters.  Select "Awards" or "Court Decisions" as the Content Type.  Use the Topic Filter to limit your search to "Investment Arbitration."  If desired, apply additional filters to limit by Time Period (date), by Party, and by Organization (arbitral institution) before searching by keyword. 
  • Transnational Dispute Management (TDM)
    To access arbitral awards and court decisions, click on the "Legal and Regulatory Docs" tab on the main menu.  On the following page, click on the "Search" button.  Then scroll down to access the Advanced Search template. Select "Investment Arbitration Awards" or "Cases" as the Category.  Enter party names or other search terms in the search boxes.  Searches may be limited by date and by country.
  • Westlaw  Westlaw offers the following resources:
    • International Arbitration Awards 
      This database includes awards issued in investor-state arbitrations administered by ICSID and by other leading arbitral institutions.  Coverage is selective, and the dates of coverage vary by arbitral institution.
    • International Arbitration Cases
      This database is limited to court decisions issued by the following jurisdictions:  the European Union, Hong Kong, the U.K., and the U.S.  Coverage is selective, not comprehensive, and includes cases involving international commercial arbitration (between private parties) and cases involving investor-state arbitration.


Free Electronic Sources

  • ICSID Case Law Database
    This database is limited to arbitrations administered by ICSID. If you know the ICSID case number, enter it in the appropriate search box. If you don't know the case number, search by the name or nationality of the claimant or the respondent. Use the filters on the left to refine your search.  In addition, note the following:

    • When viewing case details, click on the "Materials" tab to access decisions and awards in PDF format..
    • Decisions are provided in their original language and may not be available in English translation..
    • Citations to decisions and awards that have been published in print also are provided. 
    • Click on the "Procedural Details" tab to view a chronological history of the proceedings.
  • Investment Dispute Settlement Navigator
    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) maintains this free online database.  Browse chronologically by case or use the menu near the top of the page to browse by country, by treaty, by arbitral institution or by other criteria.  Alternatively, search by case name or case number.  Use the Advanced Search to apply multiple filters.

    For each case, the Investment Dispute Settlements Navigator provides the year it was initiated, the investment treaty under which it was brought, the arbitral rules used to adjudicate the claim, and brief summaries of the issues and outcome.  Click on the case name to access additional information, including links to the full texts of award or decision (often, but not always, provided).  Scroll all the way down to "Links to Background Sources" for related documentation.  (Note that some links re-direct to subscription-based platforms.)
  • italaw (Investment Treaty Arbitration Law)
    This free database, maintained by Professor Andrew Newcombe of the University of Victoria, British Colombia, includes not just publicly disclosed arbitral decisions and awards and court decisions concerning the enforcement of awards, but also party pleadings, legal memoranda, and amicus and third-party briefs.  Search by keyword or browse by party, type of proceeding or legal instrument.  Coverage is best for newer cases resolved within the last five to ten years.
  • Global Affairs Canada - NAFTA Chapter 11 Disputes Directory
    Canada's ministry of foreign affairs maintains this free directory from which you can obtain information about the investment dispute resolution mechanisms set forth in Chapter 11 of NAFTA and access decisions, awards, and other documentation related to arbitrations conducted pursuant to Chapter 11.  Content is organized by the country against which a claim was filed and alphabetically by claimant name.