Art. 55, by its own terms, is an interpretation of Art. 54. It provides a clarification to Art. 54(3) which states that execution of an award is governed by the law of the State in which execution is sought. This law includes the law on State immunity.
It also provides a clarification to the provision in Art. 54(1) which requires the enforcement of the pecuniary obligations under an ICSID award as if the award were a final judgment of a local court. The reference to “judgments in force” in Art. 54(3) has the same meaning. State immunity will apply to the execution of an ICSID award in the same way as it would apply to the execution of a judgment of a domestic court.
The drafting history of Art. 55 reveals no controversy. The earlier drafts did not include a provision on State immunity (History, Vol. I, p. 254). Noncompliance by a State with an award was regarded as extremely unlikely (History, Vol. II, p. 520; see also Art. 54, para. 7). The preservation of State immunity was taken for granted (at pp. 176/7, 242, 304, 346, 372, 379, 424, 426, 429, 430, 464/5, 575). The text of what became Art. 55 was inserted into the First Draft merely to clarify this point (at pp. 343, 428, 575, 905, 989).