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Give up claim, China told

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio: No state can claim an entire sea anymore

By Administrator | June 10, 2015
source: inquirer.net

Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio has called on China to abandon its sovereign claims over the entire South China Sea, saying international law established 400 years ago that no nation can lay claim over seas and oceans.

“In this time and age, no state can claim an entire sea anymore … that era has long passed,” Carpio said in an interview with the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid on May 11, a transcript of which was released by the court on Tuesday.

The senior associate justice was referring to the concept of “Mare liberum” (free sea) advanced by the Dutch jurist Hugo Grotius who stated that the sea was an international territory and all nations were free to use it for maritime trade.

The English legal scholar John Selden countered with the concept of “Mare clausum” (closed sea) to claim sovereignty over waters around the British isles.

At that time, England and the Dutch Republic were fierce competitors for colonies and control of maritime trade routes.

Maritime territorial conflicts through the centuries were settled by states first through the “3-mile limit” concept in the 1700s and finally by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) that was signed in 1982 and took effect in 1994.

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