Viribus Mari Victoria? Power and Law in the South China Sea
What is the role of international law in managing the disputes in the South China Sea? This question is really two-fold. The first part is what role, objectively speaking, can law play to manage the disputes in the South China Sea. The second aspect of the question is what role, subjectively speaking, are the parties to the disputes willing to allow law to play in managing those same disputes? Additionally, it is important to observe that there are really three fundamentally different types of disputes in the South China Sea — sovereignty disputes, resource boundary disputes, and disputes over the degree of state control over offshore waters — and the objective and subjective roles of law are different for each. In order to simplify the task of addressing these issues, I shall limit my remarks to the cases of China and the Philippines and primarily to the issue of the role of UNCLOS as an important source of stability amidst the complexities of the South China Sea disputes.
What role can law play?
What role are regional states willing to allow law to play?
What Should Be the U.S. Role in Reinforcing International Law?
Read the full paper at http://csis.org/files/attachments/130606_Dutton_ConferencePaper.pdf