Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Experts continue to question South China Sea arbitration

Myron Nordquist, a professor at the University Virginia, said a lot of things were wrong about the tribunal's award over the South China Sea dispute, particularly the fundamental flawed system to begin with.

Describing the arbitration as "one-sided", the veteran maritime law expert said a good award should be one with both parties' consent.

"It is a bad decision politically and this is a political decision," Nordquist said.

"It is a matter of whether the Article 298 (which grants a nation the right to declare issues that it does not accept compulsory arbitration) was honoured."

Nordquist also believes the award's decision to declare all geographic features within the South China Sea as rocks or low-tide elevations "is not going to be well-received".

"For example, Japan is going to be, in the end, unhappy with the way rock and island issue was handled by the Tribunal," Nordquist said. He cited the case of Okinotorishima, an island claimed by Japan and one even smaller than Taiping, as it might be put in an awkward position by the award.

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