PH lawyer on China: Being ‘int’l outlaw’ has its price


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ lawyer in its historic case against China said on Tuesday, December 3, that Manila needs an “impeccable” judgment against Beijing to pressure it to take a “more flexible position” on maritime disputes.

Paul Reichler, the Philippines’ lead counsel before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), hinted China can only do so much to defy a ruling that favors the Philippines.

True, Reichler said, international tribunals like the ITLOS have no police force to “make the defendant comply with the order,” but losing parties comply “at least 95%” of the time.

“Part of the explanation is that there is a heavy price to pay for a state that defies an international court order, or a judgment of an arbitral tribunal that is seen, that is recognized, in the international community as legitimate, as fair, as correct, as appropriate,” Reichler said in a forum hosted by the US-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on Tuesday evening, Philippine time.


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