Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) | IAS Target IAS Target

Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an intergovernmental organization located at The Hague in the Netherlands. The PCA is not a court in the traditional sense but provides services of arbitral tribunal to resolve disputes that arise out of international agreements between member states, international organizations, or private parties. The cases span a range of legal issues involving territorial and maritime boundaries, international investment, sovereignty, human rights, and international and regional trade. The PCA is constituted through two separate multilateral conventions with a combined membership of 122 states. The organization is not a United Nations agency, but the PCA is an official United Nations Observer. The PCA sometimes gets puzzled with the International Court of Justice, which has its seat in the same building. It is not a court and does not have permanent judges.

Headquarter The Hague in the Netherlands
Members 122 states
Established 1899 by Convention on the Pacific Settlement of disputes

Structure of PCA

  • The International Bureau is the Secretariat of the PCA and is presided by the Secretary-General. It provides linguistic, research, administrative support to PCA arbitration tribunals.
  • The Administrative Council (formally the Permanent Administrative Council) is a body composed of all diplomatic representatives of Member States accredited to the Netherlands. It is headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, who is also a member. It is responsible for "direction and control" of the International Bureau, directs the organization's budget, and reports on its activities.
  • The judges or arbitrators that hear cases are called Members of the Court. Each member state may appoint up to four "of known competency in questions of international law, of the highest moral reputation and disposed to accept the duties of arbitrators" for a renewable 6-year term. Members of each member state together form a "national group". Members may be elected in arbitration cases in which the PCA provides support. National Groups may propose candidates for International Court of Justice members