MANILA, Philippines – The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) has appointed all 5 members of the United Nations Tribunal that will hear the territorial case filed by the Philippines against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
The members of the United Nations Conventions on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) are:
- Judge Chris Pinto (Sri Lanka), President
- Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum (Germany), Member, current ITLOS Judge
- Judge Stanislaw Pawlak (Poland), Member, current ITLOS Judge
- Judge Jean-Pierre Cot (France), Member, current ITLOS Judge
- Judge Alfred Soons (The Netherlands), Member
Pinto earlier appointed Pawlak to the Tribunal while the Philippines nominated Wolfrum when it filed the case before ITLOS.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said the Philippines was informed of the update through a letter submitted by Pinto to Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza on Wednesdday, April 24.
On January 22, the Philippines decided to elevate the territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea to Annex VII arbitration under the UNCLOS as the standoff between the Philippine Navy and Chinese fishing vessels that entered Scarborough Shoal continues a year since it began.
The government wants the tribunal to declare China’s 9-Dash claim as “invalid” and “unlawful.”
The development comes as heads of state at the 22nd ASEAN Summit discussed the possibility of adopting a Code of Conduct for the West Philippine Sea that will minimize the risk of conflict between claimant nations in the area. – with reports from Angela Casauay/Rappler.com