Permanent Court of Arbitration

The Enrica Lexie Incident (Italy v. India)

Study Guide

Permanent Court of Arbitration

Permanent Court of Arbitration was established in 1899 to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between states.

Until today, 119 states have acceded to one or both PCA's founding conventions.

The PCA is not a court in the traditional sense, but a permanent framework for arbitral tribunals constituted to resolve specific disputes.

Member states’ diplomatic representatives accredited to The Netherlands comprise the Administrative Council, under the chairmanship of the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Affairs. This body, in consultation with the Secretary-General, shapes the policy of the organization.

Members of the Court are potential arbitrators appointed by member states. Each member state is entitled to nominate up to four persons of “known competency in questions of international law, of the highest moral reputation and disposed to accept the duties of arbitrators” as “Members of the Court.” Members of the Court are appointed for a term of six years, and their appointments can be renewed.

In addition to forming a panel of potential arbitrators, the Members of the Court from each member state constitute a “national group,” which is entitled to nominate candidates for the election to the International Court of Justice. The Members of the Court (along with the judges of the ICJ) are among a handful of groups entitled to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Reference: official website of the Permanent Court of Arbitration

Organization of the PCA Committee

You can apply to the MUNLawS Permanent Court of Arbitration as an Agent or a Judge. The working procedure of the committee will be led by the President of the Court, who will also prepare the Study Guide that will be published on this website prior to the Conference.

There shall be four Agents in teams of two in the Court committee. One pair shall act on behalf of the Applicant and the other on behalf of the Respondent while presenting the case before the Court. Each pair shall prepare a written memorandum prior to the Conference and submit it to the Academic team. The memorandum will be reviewed by the MUNLawS Academic team and shall represent 1/3 of the final score of the advocates, based on which the Best Agent title will be awarded. The presentation before the Court, scored by the Judges, shall represent the remaining 2/3 of the final score. Precise instructions on how to write a memorandum are published on this website.

The Judges shall read the memorandums of the Applicant and the Respondent prior to the Conference. They shall then closely attend to the presentations of both parties, ask the Agents questions with regard to their presentations and express their opinion during Judges’ deliberation. At the end of the presentation, the Judges shall vote on the pleadings made by the Agents and write a judgment based on the outcome of the vote. Based on their performance during the sessions, the Judges’ work shall be scored by the President.


Important Documents arrow_forward

Rules of Procedure, Position Paper Guidelines & Court Committees Manual


Study Guide arrow_forward

The Enrica Lexie Incident (Italy v. India)