Slovenia's Constitution Court paves the way for boundary arbitration
(23 March 2010)
Slovenia's Constitutional Court has ruled that the creation of an arbitral tribunal to resolve its boundary disputes with neighbouring Croatia would not be unconstitutional. Although the arbitration agreement has been ratified, it had faced opposition in Slovenia and the decision of the Constitutional Court paves the way for proceedings to move forward. Since their independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Croatia and Slovenia have disputed the course of their land boundary along several sections of the Dragonja river. More contentiously, Slovenia's short coastline at Piran Bay in the northeast corner of the Adriatic Sea would generate only a small wedge of maritime space when using the strict equidistance method. Slovenia had requested that its maritime space should extend beyond Piran Bay and into the Adriatic. The dispute has created problems for Croatia's accession to the European Union since, as a member of the EU, Slovenia could veto any accession bid. Under the arbitration agreement, once arbitral proceedings begin in order to settle the boundary disputes, Slovenia will lift its objection to Croatia's EU bid.
Sources: 'Slovenian Constitutional Court approves border arbitration deal with Croatia' HINA Croatian News Agency, 23 March 2010; 'Slovenia court backs deal with Croatia over border dispute' Agence France Presse, 23 March 2010; 'Top Court Clears Border Arbitration Accord (III) STA Slovenska Tiskovna Agencija 23 March 2010