International Law & Sovereignty: A Divisive Concord of Paradigms in the South China Sea


The contemporary system of interdependent states, driven by the continuous demands of globalization has led to the ever-increasing relevance of international law in governing over the comity of nations. The adherence to international law was understood as the basis for peaceful coexistence and the viable recourse for dispute settlement among sovereign states in the international community. Yet such paradigms have held its’ own share of compromises over time. As is in the case of the South China Sea, wherein the traditional underpinnings of international relations are undergoing profound changes and; the divisive display of states’ sovereignty & the resounding concord over the primacy of international law are the principal causes for the diplomatic impasse. Hence, this raises the question on how the situation will proceed. Specifically, this paper assesses whether International law, with respect to the principle of sovereignty, still depends on its traditional enforcement mandate or has it found a contemporary basis to sustain its effectiveness. The paper argues that International law continues to be an effective measure albeit, it has significantly gained momentum as a socially-observed behavior – rather than a binding force – that constructively imbues discipline alongside the sovereignty of states.

Author Information
John Matthew Poblete

Paper Information
Conference: APSec2016
Stream: International Law

This paper is part of the APSec2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon