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In The Hague: Like taking a crash course in int’l law, says De Lima

By: - Reporter / @TarraINQ
/ 05:28 AM July 10, 2015
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima  INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

It was like taking a crash course in international law.

That’s how Justice Secretary Leila de Lima described the first round of oral arguments on the Philippines’ arbitration case against China before a UN arbitral court in The Hague on Tuesday.

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De Lima praised the Philippine legal team for its handling of the opening arguments.

“It’s like attending a crash yet extensive course in international law on the sea and Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), as the speakers painstakingly sift through the nuances of the convention vis-à-vis jurisdictional objections,” De Lima told the Inquirer by text message on Wednesday evening.

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She lauded the Philippines’ “sterling team” for ably laying down the country’s case before the tribunal to win a ruling for jurisdiction.

“The arguments being articulated and [that] continue to be articulated on the jurisdictional issues by a sterling team of advocates and external counsels have been very clear-cut, exhaustive and succinct,” De Lima said.

She said observing the proceedings, held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration, “evinces an indescribable feeling.”

De Lima is part of the Philippine delegation to The Hague for the oral arguments.

The delegation is led by Solicitor General Florin Hilbay and includes Cabinet officials.

De Lima returned to Manila Thurs night, ahead of the rest of the delegation.

“I feel blessed to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the name of national pride and dignity as a people,” she said.

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TAGS: arbitration case, China, Leila de Lima, oral arguments, Philippines, sea row, territorial dispute, The Hague, UN arbitral court
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