13 July, 2016

Permanent Court of Arbitration ~ South China Sea case

Dating from 1899, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an inter-governmental organisation of 121 member States.

The PCA has delivered its award in the South China Sea case of Republic of the Phillipines v The People's Republic of China.

The Press Release (11 pages pdf) notes:

"This arbitration concerned  the role of historic rights and the source of maritime entitlements in the South China Sea, the status of certain maritime features and the maritime entitlements they are capable of generating, and the lawfulness of certain actions by China that were
alleged by the Philippines to violate the Convention

In light of limitations on compulsory dispute settlement under the Convention, the Tribunal has emphasized that it does not rule on any question of sovereignty over land territory and does not delimit any boundary between the Parties."

The actual award may be read here - 501 pages pdf. 

See also Hague Justice Portal

07 July, 2016

Iraq Inquiry report (6th July 2016)

The Iraq Inquiry report was issued today (6th July).  The report has an Executive Summary and 12 Volumes.  The Inquiry Chairman - Sir John Chilcot - made this statement immediately prior to the publication of the report.

The Inquiry did not express a view on whether military action was legal.  Sir John noted that this could only be resolved by a properly constituted and internationally recognised court but the inquiry did conclude that "the circumstances in which it was decided that there was a legal basis for UK military action were far from satisfactory."

Here is a link to Volume 5 of the report where the legal advice is considered - Advice on the legal basis for military action, November 2002 to March 2003


Statement from the Office of Tony Blair - 6th July 2016

Blair's statement at press conference - 6th July 2016

Prime Minister's statement to the House of Commons - 6th July 2016

Elizabeth Wilmshurst - The Guardian 7th July - We ignored the rule of law: the result was Iraq