Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to Natural Resources and/or the Environment

by Tamar Meshel

MPILux Working Paper 1 (2017)

Introduction: In 2001 the member states of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (‘PCA’), an intergovernmental organization headquartered at the Peace Palace in The Hague, adopted the Optional Rules for Arbitration of Disputes Relating to the Environment and/or Natural Resources (‘Arbitration Rules’). The PCA provides services for the resolution of international disputes and in particular serves as a permanent framework within which ad hoc arbitral tribunals can operate. It also remains the only arbitral institution to have specialist optional rules for the resolution of disputes relating to the environment and/or natural resources. The Arbitration Rules were drafted by experts in environmental law and arbitration and were aimed at addressing procedural deficiencies identified in dispute resolution arrangements under existing environmental treaties. They are based on the widely accepted →1976 United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Arbitration Rules (‘UNCITRAL Rules’), are optional and adaptable, and provide parties with the PCA’s well-established institutional framework.