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Durham University

IBRU: Centre for Borders Research

Boundary news

Arbitration court suspends proceedings on Croatia and Slovenia maritime border dispute

(4 April 2016)

On March 19th, a UN arbitration court suspended proceedings in the process of demarcation of the border between Croatia and Slovenia. A narrow stretch of water in the Piran gulf is the focus of the dispute; Slovenia claims 66 percent and Croatia 50 percent. The court also stated the suspension was not permanent but will last until the arbitration panel considers the legal implications of the Croatian withdrawal from the arbitration proceedings.

Croatia withdrew from the arbitration proceedings after revelations of illicit communication and influence on the court by a Slovenian representative and a Slovenian arbitrator.

At a court hearing also this week -that Croatia refused to attend- Slovenia argued that the arbitration process should continue because the Court had at its disposal all the means necessary to "correct the consequences of possible illegal conduct".

Also two days earlier, on March 17th, the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs sent an explanation to members of the United Nations in which it presented its position about the irreversibly compromised arbitration proceedings with Slovenia and expressed its willingness to resolve the border dispute in a bilateral way.