Defending Philippine Sovereign Rights in the West Philippine Sea

Why China’s historical narrative to claim the South China Sea is the fake news of the millennium.


International Law and International Conventions

Credit Unit





8/8/2025 12:00:00 AM


In this course, Justice Antonio T. Carpio will discuss the five major issues that the Philippines raised in the South China Sea arbitration:

  • China’s claim to historic rights beyond its territorial sea is contrary to UNCLOS. The nine-dashed line has no legal basis and cannot generate any maritime entitlement (territorial sea, exclusive economic zone, or extended continental shelf).
  • No geologic feature in the Spratlys is capable of human habitation or economic life of its own so as to generate a 200 NM EEZ that can overlap with Palawan’s EEZ.
  • The Arbitral Tribunal has jurisdiction to rule on the maritime entitlement and status (whether LTE or High-Tide Elevation) of geologic features.  These are not sovereignty disputes. A claim to an EEZ is not a claim to sovereignty because a state cannot exercise sovereignty over its EEZ, which is a maritime entitlement first created and governed by UNCLOS. The status of an LTE beyond the territorial sea cannot involve any sovereignty dispute because such LTE is incapable of sovereign ownership. Moreover, maritime entitlement is separate from sea boundary delimitation because a geologic feature’s maritime entitlements do not always or necessarily overlap with the maritime entitlements of another state.
  • Scarborough Shoal is a rock above water at high tide and is entitled only to a 12 NM territorial sea.  Filipino fishermen have traditional fishing rights in the territorial sea of Scarborough Shoal, regardless of which state exercises sovereignty over the shoal.

The course will also highlight what the Filipino people should do given this situation and why war is never an option.

Course Status


Course Price


when you avail the Full Compliance (36 Units) bundle


Regular price for 1 credit unit course



Senior Associate Justice, Supreme Court of the Philippines

Born in Davao City, Philippines, Justice Antonio T. Carpio was sworn in as member of the Supreme Court on October 26, 2001. He served in the Supreme Court for 18 years, retiring on October 25, 2019 upon reaching the compulsory retirement age of 70. While in the Supreme Court, Justice Carpio served as Chair of the Second Division of the Supreme Court and Chair of the Senate Electoral Tribunal. Justice Carpio retired with a zero backlog of cases