The Chinese Supreme People’s Court and the Chinese government have denounced the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague’s recent ruling. According to The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provisions, island-building activity and territorial claims in the South China Sea violated international and environmental law. Was China bound by this ruling, although China objects to The Hague Arbitration Court’s jurisdiction, and claims that consent was not given? When international law, agreements, and norms are summarily voided by a losing nation, what should be the international legal and political response? Regarding international agreements specifically, does this case provide warnings for signatories to treaties and agreements? Are there lessons for the United States in the consideration of potential reservations, opt-outs, alternate venues, or waivers, and whether they were given proper regard by the Court?
- Prof. James Kraska, Howard S. Levie Professor in the Stockton Center for the Study of International Law at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island
- Prof. Julian Ku, Maurice A. Deane Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law and Faculty Director of International Programs, Hofstra University School of Law