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The Permanent Court of Arbitration


The permanent court of arbitration was first formed in is an international organization that is to say that the conduct of the court is in-between the state government. The organisation provides variety of dispute resolution services to the national and international community. Generally, a tribunal consisting of three member is constituted in which each party appoint one arbitrator and after that both the arbitrator appointed by each party, together appoint a president. The Court thus formed decides the case. Parties have the option of selecting non- binding procedures like mediation and conciliation but if parties choose arbitration for dispute resolution, the decision of the arbitral tribunal is binding on them under Permanent Court of Arbitration. Also, parties have to decide the language they want to choose and the legal question which they want to get decided by the court.

There are 5 major services provided by the permanent court of arbitration namely, arbitration, mediation /conciliation, guest tribunals, appointing authorities and fact findings. The head quarters is situated in the Hague, Netherlands. ARTCILES 30-57 of Hague convention 1899 includes the procedure of arbitration procedure. The tribunal consist of 5 arbitrators they are selected by each parties and one has to be a woman and all these 4 arbitrators choose one preceding officer. First and foremost parties have to submit their compromise which shall state the issues in the dispute.  After that Proceedings takes place in the form of written pleadings and oral discussion.  Finally the issue or the case is decided by majority of votes. The division is given in the form of writ and the writ is pronounced in front of agents and lawyer to the parties. The decision given is permanent in nature and there is no way for appeal.

Parties to the Convention on the Pacific Settlement of disputes of 1899 (71 member states) and 1907 (101 member states) are automatically parties to the PCA. As 51 are parties to both conventions, the Permanent Court of Arbitration has in total 121 states as member states out of which 119 states are the members of the United Nations and India is one of the members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

There are 2 important cases related to India in PCA.  Two Italians were facing the charge of murder 2 freshmen in 2012 off the Kerala coast. The fishermen were killed when the marine’s duty abroad an Italian oil tanker and fired shot on them. And another when Indian space research organisation commercial arm entered into an agreement with the devas to lease out our satellite which another company could use. An international tribunal in The Hague ruled against the India government over the cancellation of the contract between the tele-communications firm and lead to loss of dollars. In 2008 the union cabinet cleared a proposal to set up a regional branch in New Delhi. The aim was to reduce the fees toa approach the tribunal for this purpose and international forum of arbitration for dispute arising in the country and the region. Regarding the jurisdiction Philippines put accused and jurisdiction and admissibility to hear the dispute brought before the court against the china.  The state of some of the maritime feature in the South China Sea and some of the action of China in the South China Sea which resulted in violation of convention on the Law of Sea was the issue in the relevant case. Also, the role of historic rights was seen as one of the main issue in the case by the Permanent Court of Arbitration. But Philippines was of the view that it will not ask the tribunal to decide on the claims related to South China Sea region because of the restrictions present under the Permanent Court of Arbitration.

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BY : Abhilasha

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