The PCA is an intergovernmental organization with over one hundred member states. Established in 1899 to facilitate arbitration and other forms of dispute resolution between states, the PCA has developed into a modern, multi-faceted arbitral institution that is now perfectly situated at the juncture between public and private international law to meet the rapidly evolving dispute resolution needs of the international community. Today the PCA provides services for the resolution of disputes involving various combinations of states, state entities, intergovernmental organizations, and private parties.
The PCA's Secretariat, the International Bureau, headed by its Secretary-General, provides full registry services and legal and administrative support to tribunals and commissions. Its caseload reflects the breadth of PCA involvement in international dispute resolution, encompassing territorial, treaty, and human rights disputes between states, as well as commercial and investment disputes, including disputes arising under bilateral and multilateral investment treaties.
The PCA can assist in the selection of arbitrators, and may be called upon to designate or act as appointing authority.
The PCA is also a center for scholarship and publication, and a forum for legal discourse.
The PCA was established by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, concluded at The Hague in 1899 during the first Hague Peace Conference. The Conference was convened at the initiative of Czar Nicolas II of Russia "with the object of seeking the most objective means of ensuring to all peoples the benefits of a real and lasting peace, and above all, of limiting the progressive development of existing armaments." The most concrete achievement of the Conference was the establishment of the PCA: the first global mechanism for the settlement of disputes between states. The 1899 Convention was revised at the second Hague Peace Conference in 1907.
Iran and the Permanent Court of Arbitration