Court of Conciliation and Arbitration in the Framework of the OSCE

Cour de conciliation et d'arbitrage au sein de l'OSCE

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May 1995, Geneva (Switzerland), persuant to the signature, 15 Dec 1992, Stockholm (Sweden), of the Convention on Conciliation and Arbitration within the CSCE by Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The Convention, which is open for accession by all participating states, entered into force on 5 Dec 1994 by the deposition of the twelfth instrument of ratification. As of June 2005, 33 participating states had ratified / acceded to the Convention. Sweden is the depositary. Rules of procedure of the Court adopted 1 Feb 1997. Also referred to as Cour européenne de conciliation et d'arbitrage.


Settle, by means of conciliation and arbitration, the disputes involving States Parties to the Convention that are submitted to it, including conflicts in respect of territorial integrity, maritime delimination, environmental and economic issues.

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The OSCE framework provides the following means for peaceful settlement of disputes:

Two mutually supporting forms of action: 'Joint Political Decisions' and 'Direct Action through Agreed Mechanisms'. OCSE decisions are normally based on consensus while direct action through agreed mechanisms may be activated by the initiative of a limited number of participating states. Current mechanisms relate to: (i) Military developments - Vienna mechanisms on unusual military activities; (ii) Human dimension - Moscow mechanism; (iii) Serious emergency situations - Berlin mechanism. They provide for a phased approach, starting with clarification of the situation through consultations between the states directly involved and extending to all-OSCE meetings with the possibility of fact-finding procedures being initiated.

'Independent Action by the Officers' - the complementary procedure implemented through operational initiative of the Chairman-in-Office and the officers and institutions authorized by him.

'Ad Hoc Conciliatory Commissions' established by the Court. These may hear cases brought before them even by a single state and their deliberations are designed to bring the parties together. On conclusion of its hearings, a commission presents a report to the parties, after which time the parties have 30 days to decide whether they are willing to accept its conclusions. If no agreement is reached within that period and if the parties have agreed to arbitration, then the Court may establish an 'Ad Hoc Arbitral Tribunal', whose ruling is legally binding on the parties. Conciliatory commissions and the arbitral tribunals take decisions by majority voting. In the absence of a simple majority, the president of the commission or tribunal has the decisive vote.


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Members in 39 countries
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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Law
    • Tribunals, Courts
    • Arbitration

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions



Last News Received

16. Dec 2019
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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