2016 has been another busy year for the world’s arbitral institutions. This is reflected by the institutions’ caseload numbers that have been reported for 2016. Just like last year[1], we have compiled the numbers published by the arbitral institutions and analyze them below.

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Three points are remarkable:

Analyzing the 2016 Numbers

Firstly, the new cases filed with the ICC in 2016 increased by 20 % after being almost stable for the last four years. According to the ICC, the massive growth by 165 new cases from 801 in 2015 comes from Latin America, Asia and Africa.[13] The ICC is also the forerunner in 2015 as far as transparency is concerned – the names of all arbitrators are published on the ICC’s website.[14] The authors expect other arbitral institutions to follow suit.

Secondly, CIETAC saw another record year with 2,183 new cases. However, this number also includes the purely domestic cases. In 2016, 483 cases were international cases from 57 countries. The cases involved a total amount in dispute of RMB 58.66 billion (USD 8.5 billion).[15] If one limits the focus on international cases, the leading arbitral institution is still the ICDR.

Thirdly, the growth in investment arbitration cases seems to be stable. While we were careful last year[16], whether ICSID’s new record of 52 cases in 2015 would be a one-off or part of a trend, the latter seems to be true: The 48 cases, which were filed with ICSID in 2016, represent only a minor decline compared to 2015.