Int’l tribunal starts hearing case vs. China

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The arbitral tribunal tasked to hear the case filed by the Philippines against China regarding its “expansive and excessive” nine-dash line claim in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) has convened and approved a draft set of rules for the proceedings.

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Raul Hernandez, Foreign Affairs spokesman, said that the tribunal held its first meeting on July 11 and designated The Hague in The Netherlands as the seat of arbitration.

“The arbitral proceedings are now officially underway. The Philippine government is pleased that the arbitral tribunal is now officially constituted and arbitral process has already began,” he said.

Hernandez added that the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Office of the Solicitor General, the official representative of the Philippines in the arbitration, intend to fully cooperate with the tribunal to ensure a fair and legal process that will hopefully reach a “final judgment that is in confirmity with international law.”

The arbitral tribunal is composed of Judges Thomas Mensah from Ghana, Jean-Pierre Cot from France, Alfred Soons from The Netherlands, Stanislaw Pawlak from Poland to represent China and Rudiger Wolfrum from Germany to represent the Philippines.

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