Int’l tribunal court seeks further arguments from PH
MANILA, Philippines – An international tribunal court has asked further written arguments from the Philippines on the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute after China ignored the deadline to submit a counter-memorial last December 15.
“Article 9 of Annex VII to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea provides for proceedings to continue if “one of the parties to the dispute does not appear before the arbitral tribunal or fails to defend its case.” Article 25(2) of the Rules of Procedure adopted by the Arbitral Tribunal further provides that –In the event that a Party does not appear before the Arbitral Tribunal or fails to defend its case, the Arbitral Tribunal shall invite written arguments from the appearing Party on, or pose questions regarding, specific issues which the Arbitral Tribunal considers have not been canvassed, or have been inadequately canvassed, in the pleadings submitted by the appearing Party,” a statement from the Permanent Court of Arbitration said on Wednesday.
China has repeatedly said that it will not participate in the arbitration case filed by the Philippines and instead would settle the dispute directly.
The arbitration case by the Philippines against China was commenced on January 2013 when the Philippines served China with a Notification and Statement of Claim “with respect to the dispute with China over the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea. Early this year, the Philippines filed a 4,000-page memorial of its position.
On December 7, China released a position paper regarding the Philippines’ appeal to international arbitration but clarified that the paper was not in participation to the arbitration. They were originally given a deadline of December 15 to answer the Philippines’ memorial.
China asserts that they own most parts of the West Philippine Sea. It is also in dispute with neighboring country with claims in the disputed seas.
“The Philippines has until 15 March 2015 to file a supplemental written submission addressing the Arbitral Tribunal’s Request, and China will have until 16 June 2015 to provide any comments in response to the supplemental written submission of the Philippines. The Philippines has been invited to address, as it considers appropriate, any public statements made by the Chinese government in relation to
the dispute,” the PCA said.
“The Arbitral Tribunal will determine the further course of the proceedings, including the need for, scope, and scheduling of any other written submissions and hearings, at an appropriate later stage,
after seeking the views of the Parties. The Arbitral Tribunal is presently consulting with the Parties on a “Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam for the attention of the Tribunal in
the Proceedings between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China,” received by the Registry for the attention of the Arbitral Tribunal on 5 December 2014,” it added.
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