FULL TEXT: PH’s round 1 win vs China over West PH Sea

A UN-backed tribunal explains why it has jurisdiction over the Philippine case against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)
HIGH-CALIBER TRIBUNAL. The arbitral tribunal is led by Judge Thomas Mensah (president, C), the first president of the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The high-caliber tribunal also includes the following (L to R): Judge Jean-Pierre Cot, Judge Stanislaw Pawlak, Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum, and Professor Alfred H. A. Soons. Photo courtesy of PCA

MANILA, Philippines – In a unanimous decision, a United Nations-backed arbitral tribunal asserted its right to hear the Philippines’ historic case against China over the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) at The Hague, Netherlands, released two documents late Thursday evening, October 29, to explain why the tribunal has jurisdiction over the case.

Rappler is uploading both documents in full.

Below is the PCA’s 9-page news release on the tribunal’s decision:

  Press Release No. 7 (Eng)

Below is the 159-page Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility:

  PH-CN Award on Jurisdiction and Admissibility

This is a round one victory for the Philippines.

By issuing this award, the tribunal effectively rejected China’s strongest argument against the Philippines: that the tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague has no right to hear the Philippines’ case.

The PCA clarified: “The tribunal’s award of today’s date is unanimous and concerns only whether the Tribunal has jurisdiction to consider the Philippines’ claims and whether such claims are admissible. The award does not decide any aspect of the merits of the parties’ dispute.”

The tribunal will soon convene a hearing on the merits of the Philippine case. – Rappler.com

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