Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) – UPSC Prelims

  • It is an international organisation
  • HQ : The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Established in 1899
    It is not a court and does not have permanent judges.
  • It is not part of the UN system although it has observer status in UN General Assembly .
  • The PCA is a permanent bureaucracy that assists temporary tribunals to resolve disputes among states (and similar entities), intergovernmental organizations, or even private parties arising out of international agreements.
  • The cases span a range of legal issues involving territorial and maritime boundaries, sovereignty, human rights, international investment, and international and regional trade.
  • The decision of the arbitrators is binding in all cases on the parties.
  • It has a three-part organizational structure consisting of:
    • Administrative Council – to oversee its policies and budgets,
    • Members of the Court – a panel of independent potential arbitrators, and
    • International Bureau – its Secretariat, headed by the Secretary-General.
  • Funds: It has a Financial Assistance Fund which aims at helping developing countries meet part of the costs involved in international arbitration or other means of dispute settlement offered by the PCA.

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