The South China Sea Arbitration and the Finality of 'Final' Awards
Journal of International Dispute Settlement 8 (Forthcoming)
Bonn Research Papers on Public International Law No 12/2016
17 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 24, 2016
On 12 July 2016 the arbitral tribunal constituted under Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) issued its award In the Mater of the South China Sea Arbitration between the Philippines and China. According to Article 11 of Annex VII the award of the arbitral tribunal shall be “final”. The provision reiterates the general statement in Article 296(1) UNCLOS that any decision rendered by a court of tribunal having compulsory jurisdiction under Part XV, section 2, of UNCLOS shall be “final”. In its award the tribunal decided a number of general questions of the law of the sea, including the meaning of the term “rocks” in Article 121(3) of UNCLOS and the relationship between UNCLOS and customary international law. This paper examines what “finality” of an arbitral award means with regard to decisions on such general questions or, in other words, in what way such decisions can be considered “final”.
Keywords: International Dispute Settlement, UNCLOS Annex VII Arbitration, Finality of Awards
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation