HK legal organ queries PCA’s South China Sea arbitration


Daniel R. Fung, chairman of the Hong Kong-based Asia Pacific Institute of International Law (APIIL), told Xinhua on Thursday that such an arbitration involving sovereignty issues should not be handled by PCA under the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

On June 6, 2016, the APIIL submitted an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on the arbitration initiated by the Philippines to the tribunal. The brief was endorsed by several solicitors and legal experts from China’s Hong Kong, Britain and Australia.

Citing a lot of international cases, the legal document addresses two key issues: jurisdiction of PCA to determine the Philippines’ 15 submissions of the arbitration and justiciability of the issues raised in the submissions.

Fung, a renowned senior counsel in China’s Hong Kong, said in an interview with Xinhua on Thursday that PCA has obviously overlooked the two issues.

Fung said the South China Sea disputes should be handled through diplomatic and political negotiations rather than an arbitration, especially they should not be handled under the UNCLOS.

“As friend of the court, our motivation to intervene is to maintain the perfection of the International Law system and the perfection of the arbitration tribunal which is one of the instruments of the system,” Fung said.