Statement of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the Arbitral Tribunal's award of 29 June 2017
With respect to the arbitral award rendered today in the arbitration process that Croatia withdrew from because of unlawful acts of Slovenia, the Government of the Republic of Croatia states the following:
Today's arbitral award does not in any way bind Croatia and Croatia shall not implement it.
Croatia has made its position towards this arbitration unequivocally clear already in July 2015, immediately after the scandalous and unlawful actions of Slovenia's Agent in the case and a Member of the Arbitral Tribunal were publicly disclosed. Their actions remain without precedent in international jurisprudence. They constitute systematic and grave violation of the most fundamental principles in international dispute settlement, most notably principles of party equality and independence and impartiality. Such acts of Slovenia represent a material breach of the Arbitration Agreement to Croatia's detriment. The fact that the Member of the Arbitral Tribunal, appointed by Slovenia, and Slovenia’s Agent in the case resigned immediately are indicative of the gravity of unlawful actions. This was confirmed by the prompt resignation from the position of the Member of the Arbitral Tribunal of the then President of the International Court of Justice who was appointed as replacement by Slovenia.
To protect its rights, pursuant to the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and on the basis of a unanimous decision of the Croatian Parliament of 29 July 2015, Croatia initiated the procedure of termination of the Arbitration Agreement, ceased to apply it and withdrew from the arbitration.
Croatia particularly emphasizes that, in protection of principles and values of international law and peaceful settlement of disputes which it has always upheld and promoted, it does not accept the results of this obviously compromised arbitration process.
Since this arbitration failed in bringing about a final resolution of the open border issue, Croatia now repeats its invitation to Slovenia to launch dialogue, convinced that two neighboring states, NATO and EU members, must have enough motive and willingness to resolve this issue by mutual agreement.
Croatia expects that Slovenia will not take any unilateral acts that would in any way change the current state of affairs along the common state border.
Croatia invites all other states and international organizations to continue treating this open border issue as a purely bilateral matter which concerns only Croatia and Slovenia.