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Arbitration

Arbitration

Following a series of unsuccessful attempts to resolve the dispute over their land and maritime boundary, Slovenia and Croatia, with the facilitation of the European Commission, signed on 4 November 2009 an  arbitration agreement (1.7 MB) establishing an arbitral tribunal tasked with issuing a final award on the land and maritime boundary on the basis of all the relevant facts. This ruling will be final and binding on both countries (Article 7 of the Arbitration Agreement). 

 

As specified in Article 3 of the Arbitration Agreement, the Arbitral Tribunal must determine:

  

  • the course of the maritime and land boundary between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia;
  • Slovenia's junction to the High Sea;
  • the regime for the use of the relevant maritime areas.

 

According to Article 4 of the Agreement, in its deliberations concerning the junction and the regime, the Arbitral Tribunal must apply the rules and principles of international law, as well as equity and the principle of good neighbourly relations in order to achieve a fair and just result. Furthermore, it must take into account all the relevant circumstances.

  


History

The search for the solution to Slovenia and Croatia's border dispute can be broken down into five phases:

 

 


Arbitration Procedure

10 July 2015: the Arbitral Tribunal informs Slovenia and Croatia that the award can be expected in mid-December 2015. 

 

22 July 2015: the Serbian and Croatian newspapers Kurir and Večernji list report about alleged phone conversations between the Slovenian agent, Simona Drenik, and arbitrator Jernej Sekolec, and proceeds by publishing audio recordings of the alleged conversations. The following day, the Slovenian agent Drenik and the arbitrator Sekolec resign; Slovenia does everything in its power to preserve the credibility of, and trust in, the Arbitral Tribunal.

 

Nevertheless, Croatia notifies Slovenia on 30 July and the Arbitral Tribunal on 31 July of its intention to terminate the Arbitration Agreement. The arbitrator, appointed by Croatia, dr. Budislav Vukas, also resigns. Slovenia rejects Croatia's intention to unilaterally terminate this international agreement and notifies the Arbitral Tribunal respectively.

 

25 September 2015: the President of the Arbitral Tribunal appoints new arbitrators. 

 

2 December 2015: the Permanent Court of Arbitration announces that the Arbitral Tribunal will decide on questions arising from the letters sent by Slovenia and Croatia in July and August 2015 and invites the parties to make further submissions: Croatia by 15 January 2016 and Slovenia by 26 February 2016. In addition, it schedules a hearing in March 2016.  

 

26 February 2016: Slovenia files its written submission; in accordance with Article 6, paragraph 5, of the Arbitration Agreement, the content is confidential. 


17 March 2016: Slovenia presents its positions at a hearing held at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The following day, the Court publishes a summary of the positions of both parties , noting that Croatia has not filed any written submission by 15 January 2016 or attended the hearing on 17 March 2016. 

 

30 June 2016 The Arbitration Tribunal announces "Arbitration between Croatia and Slovenia to continue ". The Tribunal's partial award  is available at the Permanent Court of Arbitration website. 

 

 

Detailed timeline of events since 22 July 2015.   

 

 

Slovenia fully supports the Arbitral Tribunal and the arbitration proceedings, which will result in a legally-binding award on the border between the two countries in accordance with the Arbitration Agreement.

 

 


Slovenia's representatives at the Permamnent Court of Arbitration

Slovenia is represented before the Permanent Court of Arbitration by:

 

  • Agent: Mirjam Škrk (Simona Drenik resigned as Agent on 23 July 2015)
  • Co-agent: Nataša Šebenik
  • Counsel and Advocates: Alain Pellet, Sir Michael Wood (20 Essex Street), Rodman R. Bundy (Eversheds LLP), Daniel Müller and
  • their assistants (Alina Miron, Eran Sthoeger, Natasha Harrington (Eversheds LLP) and Maja Menard).

  

The team representing Slovenia before the PCA also consists of:

  • cartographers and hydrographers: Robin Claverly, Igor Karničnik, Martin Pratt, Primož Kete,
  • members of the project section for advocacy before the Arbitral Tribunal at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
  • Héloïse Bajer-Pellet, office for legal-technical support during the oral hearing.