Defending Philippine Sovereign Rights in the West Philippine Sea

Lecturer Profile:

JUSTICE ANTONIO T. CARPIO (Ret.)
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.

Justice Carpio obtained his law degree from the College of Law of the University of the Philippines where he graduated valedictorian and cum laude in 1975. He earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1970.

Fresh out of law school, Justice Carpio went into private practice and founded the Carpio Villaraza and Cruz Law firm. He was a Professorial Lecturer of the U.P. College of Law from 1983 until 1992 when he was appointed Chief Presidential Legal Counsel with cabinet rank, Office of the President of the Philippines.

For his “distinguished and exemplary service” to the Republic, Justice Carpio was awarded in 1998 the Presidential Medal of Merit by then President Fidel Ramos. In 2009, he was conferred a Doctorate of Laws, honoris causa, by the Ateneo de Davao University. On October 29, 2011, as Guest Speaker at the 50th Founding Anniversary of the Ateneo de Davao College of Law, Justice Carpio launched his advocacy to challenge the validity of China’s nine-dashed line before a tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Ever since, he has been giving lectures all over the country on the invalidity of China’s nine-dashed line.

In 2015, the Department of Foreign Affairs sponsored Justice Carpio on a world lecture tour on the West Philippine Sea dispute. Justice Carpio presented the Philippines’ perspective on the dispute before think-tanks and universities in 30 cities covering 17 countries.

In May 2017, Justice Carpio published the book titled The South China Sea Dispute: Philippine Sovereign Rights and Jurisdiction in the West Philippine Sea.

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.

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Credits: Institute for Maritime and Ocean Affairs

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