The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an international body based in the Dutch city of The Hague.

It was the first permanent intergovernmental body to provide a venue for international conflicts to be resolved peacefully via arbitration and other means. The Permanent Court of Arbitration is the world’s oldest international dispute-resolution organisation.

Important Facts to Know for UPSC Related to Permanent Court of Arbitration


What is the purpose?- An international intergovernmental institute has been established in order to resolve disputes between states.

Structure- The PCA has a three-part organisational structure that includes the Administrative Council, which oversees its policies and finances, Members of the Court, a panel of independent prospective arbitrators, and the International Bureau, which is led by the Secretary-General.

Funds are allotted from- It has a Financial Assistance Fund, which attempts to assist poor nations in meeting a portion of the expenses associated with international arbitration or other forms of dispute resolution offered by the PCA.

What are the Matters that are Included in the PCA?

It is not a court, and there are no permanent judges. The PCA is a permanent bureaucracy that supports interim tribunals in resolving disputes originating from international agreements between governments (and similar entities), multilateral organisations, or even private individuals.

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Preparation Strategy: How to Prepare for UPSC Prelims?

Methods Introduced to Solve the Case

The Permanent Court of Arbitration’s sessions are held in secret and are strictly confidential. The Court also mediates conflicts between international organisations as well as between nations and international organisations.

Although the UN Charter enables nations to settle their disagreements in tribunals other than the ICJ, arbitration has remained a relatively uncommon way of settling international disputes (International Court of Justice). For numerous decades, the Court played a relatively limited function.

Members of PCA

Parties to the Pacific Dispute Settlement Conventions of 1899 (71 member states) and 1907 (101 member states) are automatically parties to the PCA. Because 51 countries have signed both agreements, the PCA has 121 member:119 United Nations members, as well as Kosovo and Palestine.

In 1993, the PCA held its inaugural Conference of Members to consider the Court’s future and formed a Steering Committee. The Court can now arbitrate conflicts both within and between inter-governmental organisations, as well as between private businesses, under the new regulation.

India and PCA- Must Know UPSC Related Facts

According to the Hague Convention of 1899, India is a party to the PCA.


An Italian sailor has been charged with the murder of two Indian fishermen:

Two Italian marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Mr Girone are accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in 2012. The marines on duty aboard the MV Enrica Lexie, an Italian-flagged oil tanker, opened fire on the fishermen.

Latest Updates on the Case

Because there is no appeal procedure in the UN tribunal, the order is binding on both nations. The tribunal has proposed restrictions for Girone’s return to his motherland, such as Girone relinquishing his passport so that he does not go outside and reporting his presence to an Italian authority authorised by the Indian Supreme Court.

The judicial procedures against two Italian marines who shot dead two fishermen off the coast of Kerala in the mistaken idea that they were pirates are likely to be finally ended after nine years. The Supreme Court of India has ordered that the criminal prosecution against them be halted after Italy paid a ten-crore compensation deposit.

Also Read: IAS Akshat Jain Biography: Get to Know about His Biography, Strategy & More

Case 2

Rules against “Antrix”: In 2005, the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) commercial arm, Antrix Corporation, entered into a deal with Devas to lease satellite spectrum that the Bangalore-based firm could utilise to deliver high-quality telephone and Internet services.

Antrix agreed to manufacture and launch two ISRO satellites before leasing roughly 70 MHz of S-band satellite spectrum to Devas for a term of 12 years. In exchange, Devas agreed to pay an advance fee of somewhat more than $30 million.

However, a leaked draught audit report in 2011 highlighted that the deal may have had a variety of irregularities such as conflict of interest, favouritism, financial mismanagement, and non-compliance with normal operating standards.

An international tribunal in The Hague has decided against the Indian government over the termination of a contract between telecoms provider Devas Multimedia and Antrix Corporation Ltd., potentially costing the Centre billions of dollars in damages.

Difference between Permanent Court of Arbitration and International Court of Justice

Topic ICJ (International Court of Justice) PCA (Permanent Court of Arbitration)
Established Established under the 1945 UN Charter (which also established the UNSC) to serve as the UN’s primary judicial organ. The Pacific Settlement of International Disputes was established by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, which was signed at The Hague in 1899 and amended in the Second Hague Peace Conference in 1907.
Head Quarters Hague, The Netherland Hague, The Netherland
Functionality The International Court of Justice (ICJ) exclusively settles legal disputes between nations. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) resolves disputes concerning sovereignty, commerce, treaty violations and interpretations, and so on. PCA resolves disputes between member nations, international organisations, or private parties concerning territorial and maritime conflicts, sovereignty, human rights, international investments, and regional trade, among other things.
What kind of court? Civil Arbitration Tribunal
India’s membership Because India is a member of the United Nations, it is also a member of the International Court of Justice. India is a member of the PCA. In 1950, India ratified the 1899 treaty.
Cases related to India The Kulbhushan Jadhav issue – India filed a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Pakistan for denying India its right to consular access to Jadhav, which is a breach of the Vienna Convention. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Pakistan to grant access and review Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sentence. Case of Enrica Lexie – A disagreement about a gunshot by two Italian marines off the western coast of India. The Tribunal ordered Italy to pay compensation to India.
Membership To be elected, a candidate must receive an absolute majority in the UNGA and UNSC.

Once every three years, five judges are elected.

No two Judges may be of the same nationality.

Members are eligible to be re-elected.

The group has no sitting judges.

Also Read: What is the Significance of the India – ASEAN Relationship? Here’s What You Should Know for UPSC


We hope that this article has highlighted the key facts regarding the Permanent Court of Arbitration and the International Court of Justice. These come under GS paper 2.

“Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice, and International Relations” is the title of UPSC Mains GS Paper 2. It is a subjective paper of 250 points that are graded on merit. It indicates that the candidate’s ultimate rank is determined by the score earned in the UPSC Mains GS Paper 2.

In order to prepare well for this section, follow every scheme that the government launches. Secondly, analyse the previous year questions and try to figure out if there are any repetitive questions. Lastly, make a chronological chart that could come in handy for last-minute revision. If you require assistance in preparing for the UPSC exam, feel free to contact our professional mentors.

Best of luck with your preparation and do so diligently!

Content Protection by
Permanent Court of Arbitration: Important Notes for UPSC Exam
Article Name
Permanent Court of Arbitration: Important Notes for UPSC Exam
The Permanent Court of Arbitration is one of the key international institutions that should be well-read for the IAS Exam. Click to find out the important facts related to PCA for UPSC.
Publisher Name
UPSC Pathshala
Publisher Logo

About the Author


Shilpa is a professional web content writer and is in deep love with travelling. She completed her mass communication degree and is now dedicatedly playing with words to guide her readers to get the best for themselves. Developing educational content for UPSC, IELTS aspirants from breakthrough research work is her forte. Strongly driven by her zodiac sign Sagittarius, Shilpa loves to live her life on her own notes and completely agrees with the idea of ‘live and let live. Apart from writing and travelling, most of the time she can be seen in the avatar of 'hooman' mom to her pets and street dogs or else you can also catch her wearing the toque blanche and creating magic in the kitchen on weekends.

View All Articles