Conflicts pertaining to territories are among the global constants even in the modern times. In this part of the world, a long-standing dispute over the South China Sea can be summed up as one about legal strategies, combined political clout, and military might.
In July 2016, the Philippines somehow scored a victory against China when it got a favorable ruling from the Arbitral Tribunal in the South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China). However, China has rejected that decision and dismissed it as null and void.
There are clear indications that this issue will still last a long time, as China continues to build military facilities in the Spratlys and cases of reported intimidation of Filipino fishermen by Chinese military vessels continue to abound.
According to Atty. Fretti G. Ganchoon, Senior State Counsel at the Department of Justice (DoJ), there are existing legislations that must be updated or revised as “we have an obligation under the international law to make necessary modifications in our laws to make sure they are aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).”
Atty. Ganchoon discusses the controversial territorial issue and the significant implications in the course ‘The South China Sea Arbitration: Settlement of Disputes under UNCLOS vis-à-vis General International Law’ under the subject International Law and International Conventions at the Access MCLE Lecture Series 6 set in March 2022.
As among the most sought-after experts about this subject, Atty. Ganchoon graduated from the Maritime Law Institute in Malta, which prides itself on its renowned LLM program on the law of the seas. There, she was exposed to the other significant areas of International Maritime Law, including Maritime Security Law, Shipping Law, and Marine Environmental Law.
A graduate of the Ateneo School of Law, Atty. Ganchoon is a Law Professor at the Far Eastern University (FEU) Institute of Law where she teaches Special Issues in International Law, focused on the Law of the Sea. At the MCLE, she teaches Law of the Sea focusing on the South China Sea.
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