Mass Claims Processes

Mass claims processes, established to consider legal claims resulting from significant historical events, have become increasingly important in international dispute resolution.

The PCA Steering Committee on International Mass Claims Processes, chaired by Judge Howard Holtzmann, was established in response to the proliferation of mass claims systems in recent years. The Steering Committee, composed of individuals who have been active in two or more of the mass claims processes currently operational, either as an arbitrator, an administrator or counsel, has met regularly at the Peace Palace since 2000.

The Steering Committee has produced a comprehensive book, International Mass Claims Processes: Legal and Practical Perspectives, edited by Howard Holtzmann and Edda Kristjánsdóttir and published by Oxford University Press. The book addresses such matters as funding, balancing arbitral and administrative approaches, key elements in drafting rules of procedure, establishing standards of proof, defining the respective functions of arbitrators and the secretariat and utilizing computer technology. The book considers eleven of the highest profile modern mass claims tribunals and commissions created to redress large-scale losses, offering descriptions and commentary on the ways in which the various processes have approached each issue.

Complementary to this volume, the PCA’s latest publication on current issues of international law is also on the subject of mass claims processes. Redressing Injustices Through Mass Claims Processes: Innovative Responses to Unique Challenges was published by Oxford University Press.

To accompany the publication of these works, the PCA’s International Bureau is also a repository for information concerning various mass claims tribunals and processes, in order to create a conveniently accessible source of useful information for those involved in existing mass claims tribunals as well as those responsible for the design of future ones.