Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA): Notes for UPSC Exam

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an intergovernmental organization located at The Hague in the Netherlands. It is one of the important international organisations, which should be well-read for IAS Exam from the perspective of GS-II (International Organisation.) Read the relevant facts about the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) and download the notes PDF at the end.

Aspirants can find information on the structure and other important details related to the IAS Exam, in the linked article.

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Important Facts of Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) for UPSC

The table below mentions the relevant facts about PCA for the UPSC exams

Permanent Court of Arbitration
Origin of PCA The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established by the First International Peace Conference held at The Hague, the Netherlands, in 1899.
Objective of PCA The objective is “to facilitate the arbitration of international disputes”.
Structure of PCA
  • It consists of an Administrative Council and an International Bureau. 
  • The Court is not ‘permanent’ in nature; rather it is a Court selected from among a permanent panel of arbitrators. 
  • Each member is eligible to nominate four persons who have competency in International law and who are of the highest moral reputation and have the ability to accept the duties of an arbitrator. 
  • There are 225 arbitrators, appointed for a six-year term.
  •  The Administrative Council is composed of diplomatic representatives of the contracting parties accredited to The Hague.
  • The President of the Council is the foreign minister of the Netherlands. 
  • The administrative organ of the Court is the International Bureau which channels communication regarding meetings of the Court. 
  • It serves as a registry and maintains archives.

What are the activities of the Permanent Court of Arbitration?

Arbitration has remained a rather infrequent means of resolving international disputes, though the UN Charter allows the states to settle their differences in tribunals other than the ICJ (International Court of Justice). The Court had a very limited role for several decades.

It adopted a new set of optimal rules in 1992 for giving greater flexibility and greater use of its resources for arbitrating disputes between the states. In 1993, it adopted certain new rules for arbitrating disputes between a state and a non-party state.

The PCA held its first Conference of Members in 1993 to discuss the future of the Court and established a Steering Committee. Under the new rule, the Court can arbitrate disputes both within and between inter-governmental organisations or between private corporations. The Court established a Financial Assistance Fund to help developing nations in meeting the costs incurred in bringing cases before it.

Multiple Choice Questions

Q.1 The Permanent Court of Arbitration was established in:

A) 1898

B) 1897

C) 1898

D) 1901

E) 1910

Answer: C) 1898

Q.2 The PCA is _______ in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)

A) Active Particpant

B) Affiliate

C) Auxiliary Organization

D) Observer

E) Support Organisation

Answer: D) Observer

Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) – UPSC Notes:-Download PDF Here

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Exams by visiting the UPSC Syllabus 2022 page.

Relevant Links

IAS Salary Static GK
International Organizations and Their Headquarters Reports Published by International Organizations 
The Arbitration and Conciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2015 International Court of Justice (ICJ) – Principal Organ of the United Nations (UN)
Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) – India’s World: UN Reforms : A Wishlist United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
South-China Sea: Dispute, History, And India’s Involvement World Food Programme (WFP) – Part of United Nations (UN)
United Nations Security Council (UNSC) International Monetary Fund (IMF) – Organizational Structure, Objectives
World Health Organisation (WHO) – Origins, Functions, Role World Bank Group – IBRD, IDA and 3 other institutions
IDA – International Development Association (IDA) – World Bank Group World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) – Functions, Treaties, Publications
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – Functions & Mandate Food and Agriculture Organisation: Learn about FAO Functions and Council
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – History, Functions, Red List United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and India – Human Development Report and Accelerator Lab in India
United Nations Organization (UNO) – History, Functions, Members United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) – Objectives and Reports


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