This event is co-organized with the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.
There is increasing awareness of the importance of diversifying the pool of adjudicators for international dispute settlement.
One of the five organizations that comprise the World Bank Group, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) is the leading institution for the resolution of disputes between foreign investors and host States. ICSID has administered the vast majority of international investment disputes—involving States and investors from all regions of the world. To ensure that those who decide ICSID cases also reflect this global makeup, ICSID has taken concrete steps to expand and diversify the pool of qualified adjudicators in the field of international investment law. Other courts and institutions have also taken up the issue, identifying new opportunities and initiatives to promote diversity in international dispute adjudication.
The need for concerted efforts to promote diversity have been underscored by surveys of the international legal community. In a 2018 survey by Berwin Leighton Paisner, 80% of survey respondents thought that tribunals contained too many white arbitrators, 64% felt that there were too many arbitrators from Western Europe or North America, and 84% felt that there were too many male arbitrators. To similar effect, the 2021 White & Case International Arbitration Survey indicated that less than a third of respondents believe there has been sufficient progress in respect of geographic, age, cultural and ethnic diversity, although more than half feel that there has been progress regarding gender diversity on arbitral tribunals in the last three years.
This proposed roundtable will explore the issue of diversity in international dispute settlement and would consider:
Why is diversity of adjudicators important? What is the effect of an absence of diversity among adjudicators on the dispute settlement process and outcomes?
What concrete steps can be taken to diversify the pool of adjudicators? What initiatives have succeeded and what efforts are underway? Who is responsible for these efforts?