Secretary General

BZ_Hugo Siblesz_14682_2 360x217

Following a career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands, Hugo Siblesz was appointed Secretary-General of the Permanent Court of Arbitration by its Administrative Council for a five-year term of office beginning in 2012. In December 2016, the Administrative Council elected him for a second term of office for the period 2017-2022.

As Secretary-General, he is responsible for the overall functioning of the International Bureau of the PCA, which provides registry services and administrative support for arbitration, conciliation, mediation, fact-finding, expert determination and other dispute resolution proceedings. The Secretary-General of the PCA may, upon agreement of the parties, act as Appointing Authority for purposes of appointing one or more members of an arbitral tribunal, ruling on challenges to arbitrators, or deciding on fee arrangements. This role is foreseen in a number of procedural regimes (primarily the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules), national laws and treaties.

After serving in the Dutch military as a platoon commander, Hugo Siblesz joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands in 1973. Following various functions at the UN Department of the Ministry, he joined the Legal Advisor’s Office as Assistant Legal Advisor in 1980. In that capacity he had to deal with issues related to international organizations, human rights, the laws of warfare, nuclear energy, disarmament, terrorism, narcotic drugs, outer space and the law of the sea. He also represented The Netherlands in respect of those issues in various bilateral negotiations and multilateral fora (inter alia the European Union, United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency and International Telecommunications Union). In 1990, he left the Legal Advisor’s Office to become Political Counsellor at The Netherlands’ Embassy in Paris and subsequently at The Netherlands’ Permanent Mission to NATO in Brussels. In 1994, he was appointed Director of Consular Affairs, and as such was responsible for management, legal and policy issues (e.g. issues related to migration, nationality and visa) related to the Dutch consular network worldwide. In 1998, he was appointed Deputy Director-General for Political Affairs and three years later Director-General for Political Affairs, the principal advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs on policy matters. Between 2006 and 2012, he served as Ambassador to France (co-accredited in the Principalities of Monaco and of Andorra).

Academic degree:

Law Degree, Free University Amsterdam


Dutch, English, French, German (in order of proficiency).


Orde van Oranje Nassau, Officier; Légion d’honneur, Officier; Ordre du Mérite, Grand Officier; Kroonorde, Commandeur; Orden de Isabel la Católica, Encomienda de Nùmero.

Secretaries-General 1900-present

The following is a list of Secretaries-General who have served the PCA since its founding.


Baron R. Melvil van Lynden 1900-1901
Mr. L.H. Ruyssenaers 1901-1905
Baron L.P.M.H. Michiels van Verduynen 1905-1929
Dr. M.A. Crommelin 1929-1947
Jonkheer A.M. Snouck Hurgronje 1948-1951
Dr. A. Loudon 1951-1953
Prof. J.P.A. François 1954-1968
Baron E.O. van Boetzelaar 1968-1980
Mr. J. Varekamp 1981-1990
Mr. P.J.H. Jonkman 1990-1999
Mr. Tjaco T. van den Hout 1999-2008
Mr. Christiaan M.J. Kröner 2008-2011
Mr. Hugo H. Siblesz 2012-present