Mare Clausum with Chinese Characteristics: China’s Lawfare in the South China Sea


About the Webinar

The South China Sea Arbitration Award of 2016 is a watershed moment in the history of the law of the sea, providing an authoritative interpretation and application of the relevant provisions of the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) to the complex disputes in the South China Sea. The ruling, among others, invalidates China’s excessive historic claims, clarifies the status of features in the Spratlys, and precludes the drawing of straight baselines and claims to exclusive economic zones and continental shelf around them. The webinar examines how China has continued to assert its excessive territorial and maritime claims in defiance of the ruling, engaging in activities against other claimants’ maritime rights and interests, and invoking alternative legal bases in general international law and state practice in its favour. It also investigates how other States, both claimants and external powers, have challenged China’s legal positions. These will lead to discussions on the continuing competition for the Rule of Law in the regional maritime governance in the South China Sea.

About the Speakers

Clive Schofield is Head of Research at the WMU-Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute, World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden and Professor with the Australian Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia. His research interests relate to international maritime boundary delimitation and geo-technical issues related to the law of the sea on which he has published over 200 scholarly publications. Prof Schofield has also been involved in the peaceful settlement of boundary and territory disputes by providing advice to governments and in dispute settlement cases before international courts and tribunals, including serving as an independent expert witness in the international arbitration case between the Philippines and China with respect to the South China Sea.

Jay L Batongbacal is a scholar with degrees in Political Science and Law from the University of the Philippines, as well as Master of Marine Management and Doctor in the Science of Law, both from Dalhousie University (Canada). He has worked extensively on maritime affairs since 1997, including as legal advisor to the Philippine government before the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and the International Maritime Organization. He is a Professor of the University of the Philippines College of Law and has served as Director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs & Law of the Sea.


This webinar will be delivered online entirely. You can join the webinar at the specified date and time using devices (computer, phone, or tablet) with internet connection.

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Jun 27 2022


3:00 pm - 4:15 pm