2016 (Political Law) Bar Exam Questions: Question 17

[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Political Law Instructions; 2016 Political Law Questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 1618, 19, and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]


[a] Define the archipelagic doctrine of national territory, state its rationale; and explain how it is implemented through the straight baseline method. (2.5o/o)

[b] Section 2 of RA 9522 declared the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG) and Scarborough Shoal as “Regimes of Islands.” Professor Agaton contends that since the law did not enclose said islands, then the Philippines lost its sovereignty and

jurisdiction over them. Is his contention correct? Explain. (2.5%)

One comment

  1. (a) Archipelagic doctrine of national territory encompasses the concept of equality between land masses, where each island regardless of size is treated in the same manner as all others and the concept of unity between land and water, where the water forms the link between the disparate islands.

    The rationale behind is to treat the disparate islands, such as the 7, 107 islands of the Philippines, as one political unit.

    The archipelagic doctrine is being implemented using the straight baseline method where imaginary straight lines are drawn joining the outermost points of outermost islands of an archipelago, provided that the drawing of baselines shall not depart, to any appreciable extent, from the general configuration of the archipelago. The waters within the baselines shall be considered internal waters; while the breadth of the territorial sea shall be measured from the baselines.

    (b) Contention of Professor Agaton is not correct. The Philippines did not lost its sovereignty and jurisdiction over Kalayaan Island Group and Scarborough Shoal. RA 9522 amended the baseline law in accordance with the “regime of islands” under UNCLOS, giving the Philippines a firm legal basis for determination of sovereignty and jurisdiction and for purposes of negotiation with countries whose claims overlap with Philippine territory and maritime jurisdictions.

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