Enforcement of ICSID Awards in the United States
Nicole Duclos & Erin Thomas
The ICSID Convention’s self-contained recognition and enforcement regime has long been touted as a unique and, from the perspective of award creditors, favorable feature of the treaty. However, the legislation implementing this regime in the United States does not clearly spell out the procedures that courts must follow in discharging their recognition and enforcement obligations. As a result, U.S. federal courts have adopted diverging approaches to enforcement of ICSID awards. Some courts require award creditors to commence a formal action on the award, while others permit ex parte recognition. This article examines U.S. federal courts’ implementation of their recognition and enforcement obligations under the ICSID Convention, focusing in particular on the current divide regarding proper enforcement procedures and the rationales underlying these divergent approaches.