The Enforcement of ICSID Awards in the People’s Republic of China
Hofstra University - School of Law
May 29, 2013
Contemporary Asia Arbitration Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 31-48, March 2013
The People’s Republic of China is one of the most enthusiastic signatories of bilateral investment treaties that grant mandatory jurisdiction to the ICSID investment arbitration system. This essay considers the PRC’s domestic laws affecting the fulfillment of its ICSID Convention obligations to recognize and enforce ICSID awards. It notes that the PRC has failed to enact any specific legislation to comply with the ICSID Convention’s recognition and enforcement obligations, making its compliance with these obligations uncertain. It concludes that the only way that the PRC could claim to have fulfilled its treaty obligations is to declare that the ICSID Convention and related agreements have direct effect in its domestic law. The status of treaties within PRC law, however, remains uncertain and unsettled. For this reason, it is likely that a judicial interpretation from the Supreme People’s Court is necessary to guarantee enforcement of such an award within the PRC system. Without such an interpretation, it is highly doubtful that a PRC court would enforce an ICSID award, despite the ICSID Convention’s plain requirement that it do so.
Keywords: ICSID, enforcement of arbitral awards, bilateral investment agreements, China
Date posted: May 31, 2013 ; Last revised: June 4, 2013