Published: 01 October 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon
Croatia and Slovenia have been engaged in a territorial and maritime dispute since 1991, when the two States seceded from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 4 November 2009, the governments of the two States signed an Arbitration Agreement by which they submitted their dispute to arbitration. As part of the agreement, Slovenia, which had been a member of the European Union since 1 May 2004, lifted its blockade of Croatia’s membership of the EU. Croatia joined the organization on 1 July 2013. The parties exchanged three rounds of written submissions and oral hearings were held in June 2014. During the deliberation stage of the proceedings it emerged that the arbitrator appointed by Slovenia and one of the two agents of Slovenia had colluded to influence the outcome of the arbitration. As a consequence, both the arbitrator appointed by Slovenia and the Slovenian agent resigned.
On 30 July 2015, Croatia notified Slovenia of the termination of the Arbitration Agreement in accordance with Article 60, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties on the ground that Slovenia had engaged in one or more material breaches of the Arbitration Agreement. The next day, Croatia informed the Tribunal that it would no longer participate in the arbitration, as the arbitration process had been totally and irreversibly compromised. As a consequence, the arbitrator appointed by Croatia resigned. (more…)