UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules

The PCA frequently provides full case administration support in arbitrations under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules, in particular in cases involving a State, a State-controlled entity, or an intergovernmental organization. The Secretary-General of the PCA also serves certain special functions in regard to the role of the appointing authority under the Rules.

The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1976 after extensive deliberations and consultations with various interested international organizations and leading arbitration experts conducted under the auspices of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL). The UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules were revised in 2010 to reflect the evolution in arbitral practice in the period since the adoption of the 1976 Rules. They were revised again in 2013 to incorporate the UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration.

The version of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in effect on the date of commencement of the arbitration is presumed to apply under arbitration agreements concluded after August 15, 2010, except where the parties have agreed to apply a particular version of the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules or where the arbitration agreement has been concluded by accepting after 15 August 2010 an offer made before that date.

In order for these rules to function most efficiently, parties should specify an appointing authority in their arbitration agreement who will appoint arbitrators and decide challenges when necessary. If parties fail to agree on the choice of appointing authority, or the designated appointing authority refuses or fails to act, the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules provide that any party may request the Secretary-General of the PCA to designate an appointing authority. The Secretary-General of the PCA may also serve directly as appointing authority if the parties so agree.

In 2013, a new paragraph was added to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules to incorporate the new UNCITRAL Rules on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration. The Rules on Transparency will apply to treaty-based investor-state arbitration initiated under the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules in respect of treaties concluded on or after 1 April 2014 unless the Parties to the relevant treaty have agreed otherwise. They will also apply in respect of investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014 if the parties to the arbitration or the Parties to the relevant investment treaty have agreed to their application after 1 April 2014. In respect of multilateral investment treaties concluded before 1 April 2014, the Rules on Transparency will apply if the State of the claimant and the respondent State have agreed to their application. In addition, the Rules on Transparency may be used in ad hoc proceedings or investor-state arbitrations instituted under rules other than the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules.