Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

The PCA is an administrative institution, not a court in the traditional sense of the word. Its goal is to have permanent and accessible resources to act as the registry for international arbitration and other associated processes, such as commissions of inquiry and conciliation.

What is Arbitration?

The most conventional method of resolving private disputes is arbitration. The arbitration process is legally binding. It is frequently "managed" by a private company that keeps a list of arbitrators who are accessible and sets the guidelines for how the arbitration will go.

What is Permanent Court of Arbitration?

A non-UN intergovernmental body with its headquarters in The Hague, the Netherlands, is the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). In contrast to a traditional court of law, the PCA acts as an arbitral tribunal to settle disputes resulting from international agreements between member nations, international organizations, or private parties.

The legal problems covered by the cases include territorial and marine boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, foreign investment, and regional and global trade. The PCA is created by two distinct multilateral conventions with a total of 122 governments as members. It is a United Nations observer, not a United Nations agency.

The pillars of the PCA are its three organs −

  • Its governing body is the PCA Administrative Council, which is made up of representatives of The Hague Conventions member states.

  • The PCA Members, a list of arbitrators chosen by member States and added to the PCA.

  • Arbitral tribunals are assisted in performing their duties by the International Bureau, which is led by the Secretary-General and serves as a registry and/or secretariat.

  • Six key services of permanent court of arbitration are

Structure of PCA

  • It consists of an International Bureau and an Administrative Council.

  • The Court is not "permanent" in nature; rather, it is an arbitrator-chosen Court from a permanent panel of arbitrators.

  • Each member has the right to propose up to four candidates who are qualified to serve as arbitrators under international law, who have the greatest moral standing, and who are willing to do so.

  • There are 225 arbitrators, each of whom has been given a six-year tenure.

  • Representatives from the contracting parties' diplomatic missions in The Hague make up the Administrative Council.

  • The Netherlands' minister of foreign affairs serves as the Council's president.

  • The International Bureau is the Court's administrative body, and it serves as a conduit for information regarding Court meetings.

  • It keeps records and functions as a register.

Jurisdiction of PCA

There are jurisdictions of permanent of arbitration as given below −

  • It is an intergovernmental organization with the mission of resolving disputes for the benefit of the global community and supporting arbitration and other means of resolving disputes between states.

  • In addition to other things, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) resolves disputes involving member countries, international organizations, and private parties concerning territorial and maritime conflicts, sovereignty, human rights, foreign investments, and regional trade.

  • In nature, decisions are binding.

  • The PCA lacks the authority to carry out the judgments, nonetheless.

Activities of PCA

There are some activities of permanent court of arbitration −

  • Although the UN Charter permits governments to resolve their disagreements in tribunals other than the ICJ, arbitration has remained a very unusual method of settling international disputes (International Court of Justice). For many years, the Court's involvement was quite minimal.

  • In order to provide more flexibility and make better use of its resources for arbitrating conflicts between the states, it established a new set of ideal norms in 1992. It set some new guidelines in 1993 for resolving disputes between a state and a non-party state through arbitration.

  • In 1993, the PCA established a Steering Committee and conducted its first Conference of Members to debate the future of the Court. According to the new rule, the Court can arbitrate conflicts between private parties, intergovernmental organizations, and both

History of PCA

The PCA is the oldest organization for resolving disputes internationally. According to Articles 20–29 of the 1899 Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, it was formed in 1899 by the first Hague Peace Conference. The 1907 Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes replaced the older Convention during the second Hague Peace Conference.

The conference was called at Czar Nicholas II of Russia's suggestion with the goal of finding the most unbiased ways to guarantee that all peoples will benefit from a true and permanent peace and, more importantly, of preventing the continued development of current weaponry.


An intergovernmental body called the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) exists to help the world community resolve disputes. In order to meet the changing demands of the global community for dispute resolution, the PCA has developed into a modern, multifaceted arbitral body. It makes arbitration and other forms of conflict resolution between governments easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Who can go to Permanent Court of Arbitration?

Ans. The Permanent Court of Arbitration is available to parties who want to arbitrate a dispute. The majority of disputes brought before the PCA include at least one state, but they may also involve other nations, businesses, or people.

Q2. What is the Permanent Court of Arbitration?

Ans. The Permanent Court of Arbitration is an intergovernmental body that offers the global community a range of dispute resolution services. It was created by treaty in 1899.

Q3. Which court has jurisdiction in arbitration?

Ans. An arbitral tribunal lacks inherent jurisdiction. Instead, its authority comes from the parties' agreement to use arbitration to settle a specific dispute. As a result, no piece of legislation determines the authority of an arbitral tribunal.

Q4. What is Permanent Court of Arbitration Rules 2012?

Ans. The PCA's most recent set of procedural rules, the PCA Arbitration Rules 2012, are what parties can utilize to arbitrate disputes between different groups of states, state-controlled entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties.

Q5. What is the time limit for arbitration?

Ans. Provided that the award in an international commercial arbitration proceeding may be issued as quickly as practicable and that every effort may be made to resolve the matter within a year of the date on which the pleadings required by section 23((4) were completed.)

Q6. What are the powers of Permanent Court of Arbitration?

Ans. The Court will now be able to mediate conflicts between private firms as well as those that exist within intergovernmental organizations. To assist developing nations in covering the costs associated with bringing cases before it, the Court established a Financial Aid Fund.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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