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M. Marcos G. A. Sassot

Associate - Dechamps International Law


M. Juan Ignacio Gonzalez Mayer

Associate - Dechamps International Law

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Revision of ICSID Awards

I. Definition


Following the issuance of an ICSID award, parties may request a handful of remedies, revision being one of them.1 The revision of an ICSID award implies a substantive alteration of its content, based on the discovery of new facts that were unknown at the time it was rendered and are of such nature as to affect the award decisively.2 Therefore, it is an exception to the principle of finality of awards.3

II. Requisites: Decisive and uknown facts


A request for revision must be based on the discovery of new facts.4 Those facts must be of such nature as to decisively affect the award, and must have been unknown, at the time of rendering the award, to both the tribunal and the party that applies for revision.5 In addition, the applicant may not invoke facts it ignored due to negligence.6 Some tribunals have also held that the discovered fact must predate the award.7 ICJ case law has also been followed to find guidance on the characteristics a new fact should bear.8 

III. Procedure and time limits


An application for revision must be filed before the ICSID Secretary General within 90 days after the discovery of the fact and in any event within three years after the date on which the award was rendered.9


If possible, the same tribunal that rendered the award shall decide on the request for revision.10 Alternatively, the Secretary General shall request the parties to constitute a new tribunal following the same method applied in the arbitration proceedings.11

IV. Distinction with other remedies


While a request for interpretation means to clarify a dispute between the parties as to the meaning or scope of an award12 and a request for annulment seeks to set the award aside,13 a request for revision seeks to substantively modify its content.14


In short, a decision on interpretation clarifies the scope or the meaning of the award without revisiting the merits of the dispute, and leaves its content unaltered.15 Contrariwise, a decision on revision re-examines the merits of the dispute and –if upheld– modifies the award, while a successful bid for annulment invalidates (fully or partially) the decision contained in the award without a review on the merits.16

V. Effects of a request for revision

A. Stay of enforcement of the award


In case the applicant requests a stay of enforcement of the award, the Secretary General shall provisionally stay the enforcement until the tribunal decides on such request.17 If granted, the stay is automatically terminated when the tribunal issues its decision.18

B. Modification of the award


If a tribunal grants a request for revision, it will modify the award based on the discovery of the new decisive fact.19 

VI. Revision under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules


The ICSID Additional Facility Rules do not explicitly provide for the revision of awards.20

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