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New Data Shows International Arbitration Continues to Thrive

In the past month, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) released their annual reports. The reports reflect on the growth of the PCA and SIAC as international arbitral institutions through case information.

The PCA 2019 Report is available here. The SIAC 2019 Report is available here.

With business interruption and continuity on people’s minds as a result of the COVID crisis, the case statistics from the PCA and SIAC are a reminder of the livelihood of arbitration as a means to resolve disputes.

Several trends are apparent on the face of the statistics: both institutions showed a capacity increase in the total number of cases administered and the amount of money claimed. The SIAC also showed a significant increase in the number of cases filed. This is likely due to the continued popularization of arbitration as an efficient means of resolving disputes in the region—East Asia—as well as the popularization of the SIAC’s alternative offerings/capabilities, such as expedited arbitration procedures.

The SIAC statistics specifically tracked new market entrants by region/country, while the PCA showed a balanced distribution by geographical region. The SIAC is best known for its variety of commercial arbitrations; the PCA is best known as a home to investor-state and public international law disputes. Perhaps these profiles are changing as well.

Some of the trends are familiar, such as the sectoral breakdown; other figures show a push towards making arbitration more populous through the introduction of greater innovation and diversity, including greater diversity in the arbitrator pool.

Information not tracked in these statistics include: the average length of cases, average amount of the awards issued, and the enforceability and satisfaction of awards.

The main statistics are charted below. Arent Fox’s Arbitration Team follows these statistics closely in assessing and managing global litigation strategy.

General Statistics 

New Cases Filed in 2019 49 Slight decrease from 56 new cases in 2018 to 49. 4th consecutive year with over 40 new cases. 479 19% increase from 2018, 3rd consecutive year that SIAC caseload has exceeded 400
Total Cases Administered in 2019 199 4.737% increase from 2019. 454 21% increase from 2018
Total Sum in Dispute Billions (exact number unknown)

For example, Ukraine Naftogaz asked the PCA to award it $5.2 billion in its case against Russia

USD 8.09 billion 14.6% increase from 2018
Domestic Cases N/A No “domestic” cases, since PCA resolves cases generally involving disputes arising from international agreements 63 13% of all SIAC cases.
International Cases See “Domestic Cases” and “Cases Administered” See “Domestic Cases” and “Cases Administered” 416 87% of SIAC cases
Ad Hoc Appointments Unknown Unknown 25 Ad Hoc appointments occurred in 5% of new cases
Early Dismissal Applications Unknown Unknown 8 total, 5 allowed to proceed under Rule 29.3 of SIAC Rules 2016, 1 granted 30 ED applications since 2016 - 9 granted
Emergency Arbitrator Applications Unknown Unknown 10 total, all accepted 94 EA applications since 2010 - all accepted; cases in disputes from following sectors: Corporate, Commercial, Maritime/Shipping, Trade, and Construction Infrastructure/Engineering
Expedited Procedure Applications Unknown Unknown 61 total, 32 accepted 534 EP applications since 2010 - 319 accepted
Awards 44 cases were “resolved” in 2019 – no data on awards   169 awards issued  

Regional and Sectoral Statistics 

United Nations Regional Group (See below for classification) Percentage of 2019 PCA Cases Percentage of 2019 SIAC Cases
Western European and Others (US, Canada) 27% 8.3%
Asia Pacific 26% 86.4%
Africa 15% 1.8%
Eastern European 19% 0.3%
Latin America and Caribbean 13% 2.9%

Additional Statistics from the SIAC

Note: The PCA does not keep detailed country-specific statistics.

Top Foreign Users: SIAC

Home Country of Party number of cases claimant respondent
India 485 278 207
Philippines 122 119 3
China 76 24 52
USA 65 28 37
Brunei 49 31 18
UAE 49 7 42
Switzerland 44 35 9
Indonesia 39 8 31
Thailand 39 19 20
Malaysia 38 14 24
United Kingdom 34 15 19
Hong Kong 33 17 16

Data on Arbitrators & Appointments

PCA comments siac total individual appointments comments
  •    The Secretary-General appointed one or more arbitrators in response to 8 requests (from a total of 11 requests) 159
  •  145 appointments to sole arbitrator tribunals
  • 14 appointments to three-member tribunals
  • 138 appointments made under SIAC Rules
  • 2 appointments made in cases under other Rules
  • 19 appointments made in ad hoc arbitrations


Female Members: from early 2019)
  • 17.62% of total membership
  • SIAC, 58 (or 36.5%) were women
  • 10 of the 33 members of SIAC’s Court of Arbitration are women (30.3%)
  • Women constitute 60% of SIAC's Management and Secretariat
Additional Information:  
  • 114 of 297 appointments (36%) were non-Singaporean arbitrators appointed by the SIAC
  • 79 of 297 appointments (25%) were non-Singaporean arbitrators nominated by the parties
  • 21 of 297  (6%) were non-Singaporean arbitrators appointed by co-arbitrators

Sectoral Overview

sectors, pca number and percentages of cases in sector, pca sectors, siac Number and Percentage of Cases in Sector, SIAC
Oil and Gas Information not available Corporate 140 (29%)
Mining and Quarrying Information not available Trade 100 (21%)
Construction Information not available Commercial 77 (16%)
Real Estate Information not available Construction/ Engineering 76 (16%)
Financial/ Insurance Information not available Other 50 (10%)
Electrical/ Power Generation Information not available Maritime/ Shipping 39 (8%)



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