The International Court of Justice has reportedly done the unthinkable by publicly declaring that it has played no role in the highly-sensitive South China Sea judgement passed by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, in favor of Philippines.
The PCA ruled on the arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines against China in 2013.
In a statement in both English and Chinese on its website the ICJ said it wished to draw the attention of the media and the public to the fact that the award was issued by an Arbitral Tribunal acting with the secretarial assistance of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and that no further information would be found on its website.
A former judge of the United Nations’ International Court of Justice, Abdul G. Koroma, says the only link between the two bodies is their base in the Peace Palace in The Hague.
“The Permanent Court of Arbitration, the PCA, and the International Court of Justice share the same building in The Hague which is called the Peace Palace. So it’s not very easy for a non-lawyer to be able to make the distinction between the two bodies.”
The former judge added the purpose of any arbitral settlement is to bring peaceful resolution of a conflict, rather than for any political motives.
The United Nations has also made it clear that the Permanent Court of Arbitration is not one of its organs.