The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is not a court, but rather an organizer of arbitral tribunals to resolve conflicts between member states, international organizations, or private parties. 

  • It is an intergovernmental organization established by a treaty at the First Hague Peace Conference, Netherland in 1899.
  • It seeks to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution involving various combinations of states, state entities, international organizations and private parties.
  • It also administers cases under the arbitration rules of the UNCITRAL.

Membership of the PCA

  • 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 PCA has 121 member states: 119 members of the United Nations, as well as Kosovo and Palestine.
  • India is a party of the PCA according to the Hague Convention of 1899.

Important cases from India that went to the PCA:

  • The Italian marines were accused of killing two Indian fishermen.
  • It has ruled against the Indian government over the cancellation of a contract between telecommunications firm Devas Multimedia and Antrix Corporation Ltd., in a decision that could cost the Centre billions of dollars in damages.


International Court of Justice

Permanent Court of arbitration

International criminal Court

  • The International Court of Justice is sometimes called the World Court, and is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). 
  • The ICJ's primary functions are to settle international legal disputes Submitted by states (contentious cases) and give advisory opinions on legal issues referred to it by the UN (advisory proceedings).
  • The ICJ is the successor of the Permanent Court of International Justice (PCIJ), which was established by the League of Nations in 1920 and began its first session in 1922. 
  • The ICJ comprises a panel of 15 judges elected by the General Assembly and Security Council for nine-year terms. The court is seated in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands, making it the only principal U.N. organ not located in New York City.
  • 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 an 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, sovereignty, human rights, international investment, and international and regional trade. 
  • The PCA 

is constituted through two separate multilateral conventions with a combined membership of 122 states. 

  • It was established in 1899 by the first Hague Peace Conference of 1899 Hague Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes. At the second Hague Peace Conference, the earlier Convention was revised by the 1907 Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes.
  • The organization is not a United Nations agency. But the PCA is  an official United Nations Observer.
  • The International Criminal Court (ICC) is an intergovernmental organization and international tribunal that sits in The Hague, Netherlands. 
  • The ICC has jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression.
  •  It is intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction only when certain conditions are met, such as when national courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute criminals or when the United Nations Security Council or individual states refer situations to the Court.  
  •  The ICC began functioning on 1 July 2002, the date that the Rome Statute entered into force.
  • The Rome Statute is a multilateral treaty that serves as the ICC's foundational and governing document. 
  • States which become party to the Rome Statute become member states of the ICC.