The South China Sea Arbitration is Here! And China Will Not Be Happy

by Julian Ku

The much-anticipated long awaited South China Sea Arbitration award on the merits is here!  It is a slam-dunk, complete, utter, massive, total legal victory for the Philippines on all counts (lots of metaphors here, none are quite sufficient). Essentially, the tribunal ruled in favor of almost all of the Philippines’ claims in the arbitration.  Perhaps the most headline friendly result: The Nine Dash Line has been ruled inconsistent with China’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

I have been mostly reacting on twitter this morning, and I am working on some related posts here and elsewhere. This case brings to an end the long process initiated by the Philippines back in 2013 (links to my discussion of them are below).  We will be discussing and debating the impact of this award for a while.

3 Responses

  1. Actually this is a political verdict,especially since the PCA have no legal basis to decide on the Nine Dash Line. This is because this can only be a Class Action lawsuit by All the affected parties, namely Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, anybody adjacent to the South China Sea.

    By allowing PH lawsuit against the Nine Dash Line to go forward, the PCA judges effectively Damage their own institution. This is not a loss for China, but a loss for the reputation of the PCA institution. They cannot explain why they allow the Nine Dash Line lawsuit to go forward while they throw out about half of the PH initial 15 charges against China. Smells like an intense arm twisting to get them to take up the case And to add insult to injury, they never even mention anything against the Squatters in the Spratlys, namely Vietnam, occupying half, PH about as much, and Malaysia as well. Does any fair minded people think this verdict against China is a fair and just verdict? This is a day of infamy in maritime law, forever discrediting the PCA institution!

  2. China does not give a damn about international law. If PCA had no jurisdiction, it would have been only fit and proper for China to have participated in the proceedings and challenged the jurisdiction. By refraining, China which is a signatory to the UNCLOS, by its actions of non-participation and thereafter denouncing the award has undermined international law in general and maritime law in particular.

  3. On the merits, what is the legal basis for a eleven-dash line which was later converted into a nine-dash line?

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