Legal analysis of the Philippines’ arbitration claim on South China Sea

World Today

A professor of international law at the University of Oxford has published a paper on resolving disputes in the South China Sea.

CCTV’s Zhang He spoke to Antonios Tzanakopoulos about the arbitration initiated by the Philippines against China.

The U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea provides a compulsory and binding framework for the peaceful settlement of disputes. If the parties have a dispute with respect of the interpretation or application of the Convention, the compulsory dispute settlement is triggered.

However, not every maritime dispute can be resolved this way. Professor Tzanakopoulos said the dispute between Philippines and China is one of these instances.

China and the Philippines have reached agreement to settle their disputes in the South China Sea through ‘friendly consultations’ and negotiation. This would have the effect of depriving the Tribunal of jurisdiction over this dispute.

The South China Sea issue has becoming increasingly complicated and serious. There are still some limitation of this compulsory dispute settlement system under the convention, in regarding to resolving the issue of South China Sea.