UN tribunal gives first order on Phl's case vs China
Rosalinda L. Orosa (The Philippine Star) - August 28, 2013 - 4:25pm

MANILA, Philippines - The United Nation's Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague has given the Philippines until March 30, 2014 to make all the necessary submissions in its case on the territorial dispute with China.

The Arbitral Tribunal has issued its first Procedural Order, which establishes the initial timetable for the arbitration and adopting Rules of Procedure.

"The Arbitral Tribunal directs the Philippines to fully address all issues, including matters relating to the jurisdiction of the Arbitral Tribunal, the admissibility of the Philippines’ claim, as well as the merits of the dispute," it said in a press release dated August 27.

Before adopting the Rules of Procedure and timetable, it provided the Philippines and China copies of the draft Rules of Procedure for comment.

The Philippines submitted comments on the draft last July 31 and on August 1, China addressed a note verbale to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in which it reiterated its position that “it does not accept the arbitration initiated by the Philippines” and stated that it was not participating in the proceedings.

The Philippines is claiming parts of the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) while the Asian giant is pressing its indisputable sovereignty over the entire waters through its nine-dash line claim.

The arbitration case between the two nations started last January 22 when the Philippines served China with a notification and statement of claim “with respect to the dispute with China over the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea.”

On February 19, China presented the Philippines with a diplomatic note in which it described its position and rejected and returned the Manila’s notification.

The five-member Arbitral Tribunal is chaired by Judge Thoma A. Mensah of Ghana. The other Members are Judge Jean-Pierre Cot of France, Judge Stanislaw Pawlak of Poland, Professor Alfred Soons of the Netherlands, and Judge Rüdiger Wolfrum of Germany.

The Arbitral Tribunal said it will determine the further course of the proceedings, including the need for and scheduling of any other written submissions and hearings, at an appropriate later stage, after seeking the views of the parties.

ARBITRAL TRIBUNAL CHINA JUDGE JEAN-PIERRE COT OF FRANCE JUDGE R JUDGE STANISLAW PAWLAK OF POLAND JUDGE THOMA A MENSAH OF GHANA ON FEBRUARY PHILIPPINES RULES OF PROCEDURE WEST PHILIPPINE SEA
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