The Elusive Nature of Res Judicata in ICSID Arbitration

30 Pages Posted: 12 May 2017

See all articles by Paolo Vargiu

Paolo Vargiu

University of Leicester - School of Law

Date Written: May 12, 2017


ICSID tribunals have sometimes issued decisions that could be questioned in terms of reliability, credibility and respect for the rule of law. Article 48(3) ICSID defines the award as the document that deals with every question submitted to the tribunal. Unlike other rules, the ICSID Convention does not provide for interim or partial awards. An ICSID award is final and binding, closes the proceedings and gives res judicata effect to the tribunal’s findings. Recently ICSID tribunals stated that, if a document decides on one or some of the questions submitted by the parties and has stated the reasons behind it, such decision is to be considered res judicata although it is not an award. Can tribunals revise conclusions reached earlier in the proceedings before the award? This article aims at addressing res judicata in the ICSID in light of the problem of the relationship between tribunals’ decisions and awards.

Keywords: ICSID, investment arbitration, res judicata, arbitral awards, arbitral decisions, ISDS

JEL Classification: F50, K33

Suggested Citation

Vargiu, Paolo, The Elusive Nature of Res Judicata in ICSID Arbitration (May 12, 2017). University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 17-04. Available at SSRN:

Paolo Vargiu (Contact Author)

University of Leicester - School of Law ( email )

University Road
Leicester LE1 7RH, LE1 7RH
United Kingdom


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