On 31 July 2013, the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published its biannual caseload statistics for the period of 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.21 The statistics revealed a number of interesting changes and developments, particularly in relation to ICSID’s current case load.

The number of arbitrations had been growing steadily since 2008, reaching a record high last year with 50 newly registered cases. While the number of newly registered cases in comparison to the previous reporting period rose from 36 to 43, only 14 new cases were registered between 1 January and 30 June 2013, marking a considerable drop in ICSID’s caseload for 2013.

Amongst the cases which ended in the reporting period, are a growing number of unfounded claims and settlements. Claims by investors were dismissed in their entirety in 63 percent of all cases decided in fiscal year 2012/2013 (in comparison to the total percentage of dismissed cases of 53 percent). In addition, one fourth of the cases which ended in this period were settled or discontinued due to failure to act (13 percent) or failure to pay the required advances (12 percent). This considerable growth compares to only one and nine per cent of cases discontinued for these reasons respectively overall.

Regarding the subject matter of disputes, the number of disputes originating from the financial sector has doubled. While historically only seven percent of all ICSID arbitrations related to this economic sector, 14 percent of the newly registered cases in the last reporting period did so.

The next years will show whether these developments were particularities of fiscal year 2013 or the beginning of a new trend.