Failing or Incomplete? Grading the South China Sea Arbitration

On July 12, 2016, an arbitral tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued its ruling in Manila’s case against Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea. Convened under the compulsory dispute settlement provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the tribunal’s five arbitrators ruled overwhelmingly in the Philippines’ favor.  Beijing refused to participate in the arbitration and rejected the outcome. Meanwhile, the newly-inaugurated president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, downplayed the victory in the hopes of coaxing China toward a more conciliatory policy and, as a result, international pressure on China to comply with the award has evaporated. The ruling clarified important aspects of UNCLOS and customary international law, but there was never much hope Beijing would accept its findings.

Nonetheless, many observers hoped that over time China might find politically face-saving ways to bring its claims and behavior into line with the substance of the ruling, even while rejecting the process. In the three years since the arbitral award, and since Manila’s adoption of a more accommodating policy toward Beijing, has China moved any closer to compliance? AMTI has compiled a list of actionable findings from the tribunal and assessed whether China’s recent actions are in-line with them. Overall, China is in compliance with just 2 of 11 parts of the ruling, while on another its position is too unclear to assess.

Arbitration Compliance Report Card

(Click each row for more information)


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A new twist in the South China Sea Arbitration: The Chinese Society of International Law’s Critical Study

Published on May 25, 2018        Author: , EJIL Talk

On Monday 14 May 2018 the Chinese Journal of International Law, an Oxford University Press journal, published an extraordinary 500 page “Critical Study” of the Awards on jurisdiction and the merits in the South China Sea Arbitration between the Philippines and China. Readers will recall the case was brought under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by the Philippines against China and that there was an awards on jurisdiction in 2015 and a final award on the merits in 2016 (discussed in many places including here, here, here, here and here). The Critical Study was produced by the joint efforts of some 70 scholars and is listed as having been authored by the Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL). It examines almost every issue raised in the case – and several that weren’t – and concludes the Tribunal was catastrophically wrong on every single point, right down to how many times the Philippines was allowed to amend its pleadings. Tiếp tục đọc “A new twist in the South China Sea Arbitration: The Chinese Society of International Law’s Critical Study”

The South China Sea Arbitration Awards: A Critical Study

Related article: A new twist in the South China Sea Arbitration: The Chinese Society of International Law’s Critical Study

Chinese Journal of International Law, Volume 17, Issue 2, 1 June 2018, Pages 207–748, https://doi.org/10.1093/chinesejil/jmy012
Published: 14 May 2018
This critical Study analyzes in detail the award on jurisdiction and admissibility of 29 October 2015 and the award of 12 July 2016 in the South China Sea Arbitration. After briefly introducing the project and the Study and describing the background to and course of the South China Sea Arbitration and the position of the Chinese Government, the Study moves to address one by one the following matters: jurisdiction; admissibility; historic rights; the status of China’s Nansha Qundao and Zhongsha Qundao; the legality of China’s activities in the South China Sea; due process and evidence. The Study closes with the conclusion that the Tribunal’s many errors deprive its awards of validity and threaten to undermine the international rule of law. Included as annexes are five useful official documents of the Chinese government on jurisdiction, the two awards, China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, and China’s adherence to the position of settling through negotiation the relevant disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea. Tiếp tục đọc “The South China Sea Arbitration Awards: A Critical Study”

Tracking China’s Compliance with the South China Sea Arbitral Award

Lawfareblog

By Julian Ku, Chris Mirasola

Monday, October 3, 2016, 2:39 PM

Since the arbitral tribunal formed pursuant to the UN Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) handed China a stunning legal defeat in July, China has loudly proclaimed its intention to ignore the arbitral award.  For most analysts of the region, it has been a working assumption that China has not and will not comply with any parts of the award.   But China’s statements that it will ignore the award do not necessarily mean that it is currently in complete non-compliance or that it will never come into compliance in the future.  China’s actions, as opposed to terse public statements, must be assessed as a measure of its compliance. Tiếp tục đọc “Tracking China’s Compliance with the South China Sea Arbitral Award”

Tác động từ phán quyết của Tòa Trọng tài đến Việt Nam

ĐỖ THIỆN thực hiện – Thứ Tư, ngày 3/8/2016 – 05:00

(PL)- Nhiều nội dung phán quyết của Tòa Trọng tài có lợi cho Việt Nam ở biển Đông.
Phán quyết của Tòa Trọng tài đã tạo cơ sở pháp lý rất tốt cho VN bảo vệ được các quyền và lợi ích quốc gia ở biển Đông. Trong ảnh:Trên đảo Song Tử Tây thuộc quần đảo Trường Sa của Việt Nam. Ảnh: MINH PHONG

Pháp Luật TP.HCM đã có cuộc trao đổi với PGS-TS Vũ Thanh Ca, nguyên Viện trưởng Viện Nghiên cứu biển và hải đảo, về những khả năng tác động từ phán quyết biển Đông của Tòa Trọng tài đến Việt Nam (VN).

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