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July 30, 2015.
The Croatian Croatian government launches procedure to terminate arbitration agreement with Slovenia.


The Croatian Croatian government launches procedure to terminate arbitration agreement with Slovenia

The Croatian government on Thursday launched a procedure to terminate the arbitration agreement with Slovenia because of a violation of the agreement by Slovenia.
The move followed a unanimous decision of the Croatian parliament adopted to that effect on Wednesday.
"This present procedure is too compromised for Croatia to continue searching for a solution," she added.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs was instructed to send a diplomatic note to the Slovenian government saying that because of a breach of the arbitration agreement by Slovenia conditions have arisen for termination of the arbitration agreement in accordance with international law.

Under the decision, Croatia will stop applying the arbitration agreement as of the day on which the diplomatic is sent, and Maja Sersic and Andreja Metelko-Zgombic have been relieved of their respective duties as agent and co-agent of the Republic of Croatia in the arbitration proceedings.

A scandal broke out last Wednesday when the Zagreb-based Vecernji List daily published transcripts revealing that a Slovenian judge sitting on the arbitration tribunal and a Slovenian Foreign Ministry official had secretly discussed the case and lobbied other judges to influence the outcome of the arbitration in Slovenia's favour.

According to the transcript of a conversation between Judge Jernej Sekolec and Foreign Ministry official Simona Drenik, the arbitration tribunal would have awarded most of the disputed Bay of Savudrija, known in Slovenia as the Bay of Piran, to Slovenia. The two officials have in the meantime resigned.

Pusic said that an analysis of their communications, published in the media, showed that "additional documents and information have been illegally included in the file" after deliberations began.

"That's why we think that the process is so compromised that it is impossible to continue dealing with the border issue in this way," Pusic concluded. 


The Croatian parliament on Wednesday unanimously obliged the Government to institute a procedure to exit the Arbitration Agreement on a border solution with Slovenia. Slovenia has "severely violated" the provisions of the international agreement and the rules of participating in arbitration in good faith and that is why Croatia believes that the Arbitral Tribunal cannot fulfill its duty, the Croatian government said in its explanation sent to parliament ahead of an extraordinary session of Parliament.

"Croatia believes that the Arbitral Tribunal is not in a position to fulfill its duty as is expected from an independent and professional international court," the government's explanation said.

"Publicly disclosed conversations between a member of the Arbitral Tribunal appointed by Slovenia and Slovenia's agent to the tribunal, which have been confirmed as credible, reveal that the fundamental principles of the arbitration procedure, the principles of integrity, legality, independence and credibility, were systematically and severely violated to Croatia's detriment," the government continues in its explanation.

The rules and confidentiality of the procedure have been violated, the government says, which is why it has recommended its conclusion that parliament obliges it to "institute procedures to terminate the Arbitration Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia signed on 4 November 2009 which entered into force on 29 November 2010."

The decision required the support of two-thirds of MPs and the decision was given the nod by 141 MPs

The Croatian government met with the nation’s leading opposition party on Monday July 27, and after a short meeting both sides agreed that Croatia would exit out of border arbitration agreement with Slovenia.

Last week transcripts revealing

Pirangate Last week transcripts revealing that a Slovenian arbitrator and a Slovenian diplomat had discussed the case and lobbied other judges sitting on the tribunal to influence the outcome of the arbitration in Slovenia’s favour had been leaked by the media, forcing Croatia to react.

The border issue revolves around the boundary in the Gulf of Piran. Both nations agreed to international arbitration with the European Commission mediating the arbitration agreement between Croatia and Slovenia in 2009, which unblocked Croatia’s EU accession negotiation.The two countries share about 668 kilometres of border. 
According to the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, the border spans 670 km. The border runs in the direction from the southwest to the northeast.

(hina/ hic)


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