Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 04/2012

The (lack of) women arbitrators in investment treaty arbitration

Gus Van Harten

February 2012

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment


Investment arbitration has a remarkably poor record on representation of women. This calls for reform of the appointments process for arbitrators, who make important policy choices in the context of global governance. In 249 known investment treaty cases until May 2010, there were 631 appointments. Of these, 41 were appointments of women -- just 6.5% of all appointments. Worse, of the 247 individuals appointed as arbitrators across all cases, only 10 were women. Women thus comprised 4% of those serving as arbitrators.