The South China Sea Arbitration, which marks the first time that the Philippines and China have been parties to a compulsory dispute settlement procedure, is a landmark legal case. The Tribunal tackled head-on critical issues in the interpretation and application of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea that other international courts have failed to address.
The Tribunal’s task was rendered arduous by China’s refusal to appear before it. In these circumstances, understanding the Tribunal’s decisions is a challenging undertaking. China’s public relations campaign targeting the proceedings raised issues that the layperson could readily grasp, notably African states’ support for its non-appearance, the integrity of the judges, and the validity of arbitral awards. This book aims to facilitate understanding of the South China Sea Arbitration by presenting detailed summaries of the two Arbitral Awards.