Introduction to the PCA

Established in 1899 to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between states, the PCA has developed into a modern, multi-faceted arbitral institution perfectly situated to meet the evolving dispute resolution needs of the international community.

Today the PCA provides services for the resolution of disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties.

The PCA’s Secretariat, the International Bureau, is headed by its Secretary-General, and is composed of an experienced team of legal and administrative staff of various nationalities The primary function of the International Bureau is to provide administrative support in respect of arbitration, conciliation, mediation, fact-finding, expert determination and other dispute resolution proceedings. Its caseload reflects the breadth of PCA involvement in international dispute resolution, encompassing territorial, treaty, and human rights disputes between states, as well as commercial and investment disputes, including disputes arising under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.

The PCA can assist in the selection of arbitrators, and may be called upon to designate or act as appointing authority.

The PCA is also a center for scholarship and publication, and a forum for legal discourse.


The PCA was the first permanent intergovernmental organization to provide a forum for the resolution of international disputes through arbitration and other peaceful means.

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Contracting Parties

The PCA has 122 Contracting Parties which have acceded to one or both of the PCA's founding conventions.

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The Secretary-General is head of the International Bureau of the PCA.

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