The fourth amendment to the ICSID rules entered into force on July 1, 2022. This change is the most comprehensive review to date.
The main purpose of the amendments is to modernize and simplify the rules, to make them more accessible, to increase the efficiency of the proceedings in terms of time and expenses, to reduce the environmental impacts with the use of technological opportunities, and also to improve transparency.
Below is a summary of the main changes:
1- Efficiency in time and proceeding: The new amendment includes a number of new rules that set specific and shortened time limits for various procedural steps in order to increase the efficiency of the processes. Some of these time limits apply to the parties and some to the arbitrators.
In addition, the time-wasting process with papers has come to an end with the new changes. For instance, the practice of physical presentation of documents has been abandoned and the practice of electronic submission of documents has been introduced. In special cases, it is foreseen that the arbitral tribunal may also request that the documents be submitted in a different format. This will ensure efficiency in the proceeding prevent the loss of time.
2- Increasing accessibility and transparency: New regulations have been introduced, such as the publication of all awards and decisions on annulment with the consent of the parties and the participation of third parties in hearings unless either party objects.
3- Reducing cost: An example regarding the reduction of costs is the arbitral tribunal’s ruling on the guarantee and stay of enforcement of arbitral awards by an ad hoc committee. For a similar purpose, it is aimed to disclose the third party financier and thus to make transparent the costs that may arise during the proceedings.
These amendments represent the most extensive review of ICSID’s Rules to date which have been in preparation for a long time. It is foreseen that the ICSID Rules will be one step closer to the required resolution methods of modern investment disputes with these changes.