Croatia and Slovenia complete appointment of arbitral tribunal
(20 January 2012)
On 17 January 2012, Croatia and Slovenia completed selection of the five-member arbitral tribunal that will adjudicate their long standing land and maritime boundary dispute. Each side had already appointed one member of the five-member tribunal in 2011, but the two parties had requested that the European Commission (EC) assemble a list of possible arbitrators from which they could appoint the remaining three tribunal members by agreement, including the president of the tribunal. The tribunal will be led by Judge Gilbert Guillaume of France, who served as president of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 2000-2003. The other two members chosen from the EC list include Judge Bruno Simma of Germany who is currently a judge on the ICJ and Professor Vaughan Lowe of the United Kingdom who served on the tribunal in the 2004-2006 Barbados-Trinidad and Tobago maritime boundary arbitration. The remaining two members of the tribunal include Budimir Vukas and Jernej Sekolec who were appointed respectively by Croatia and Slovenia last year.
If Croatia and Slovenia had been unable to agree selection of the three members from the EC list, the president of the ICJ would have been requested to appoint the president of the tribunal, and he/she would have then selected the remaining two members. Fortunately, the parties appear to have had little difficulty in swiftly agreeing the additional arbiters, in contrast to the lengthy negotiations that have led up to this stage of the process. Now fully appointed, the tribunal will be able to set out a timeline for arbitration proceedings.
Source: 'News agency says Croatia and Slovenia have received EC's list of border arbiters' HINA (Croatia), 16 January 2012; 'Slovenia and Croatia Agree on Border Arbiters (III)' STA (Slovenia), 17 January 2012; 'Croatian Government Agrees to Arbitration in Maritime Border Dispute' Eoin Ryan IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis, 19 January 2012; 'Slovenian PM hails agreement between Slovenia and Croatia' HINA (Croatia), 17 January 2012.