ICSID’s Role in Advancing Investor-State Mediation

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IMI’s Investor-State Taskforce has received significant support from ICSID, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. In this article, ICSID Senior Legal Counsel Frauke Nitschke details how ICSID is working to support parties in the mediation of their investment disputes.

Learn more about the IMI Investor-State Taskforce here.

The past decade has seen increasing interest in mediation as a means to resolve international investment disputes. This is seen in the inclusion of mediation in the dispute settlement provisions of a growing number of investment treaties. It is also reflected in the new multilateral framework for the recognition and enforcement of mediated settlements—the Singapore Convention on Mediation—which opened for signature in August 2019.

ICSID, which administers the vast majority of international investment disputes, has carefully considered how best to support investors and States who wish to avail themselves of mediation as a dispute settlement option. Three primary pillars have emerged.

First is providing facilities and administrative services, similar to those that ICSID is well-known for in the areas of arbitration and conciliation. These services include identifying qualified mediators, facilitating communication between the parties and the mediator, handling the organisation of mediation sessions, and managing the finances of the process. ICSID is also in the unique position to offer state-of-the-art conference facilities at the World Bank Group’s offices around the world.

Second is building the capacity of prospective investor-state mediators, counsel and government officials. There are a number of experts that are specialised in investment mediation. However, there is a much larger pool of those who are professional mediators but who have not applied their skills to international investment disputes. And then there are those who are expert in investor-state dispute settlement—most often in the form of a