Although Croatia has said it will not accept the decision, it is certain to have political and possibly legal consequences.
The Arbitration Tribunal in the Hague has announced its decision in the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia. Croatia decided two years ago to leave the proceedings, but the tribunal insisted that the proceedings will go on, reports 24sata.hr on 29 June 2017.
The Arbitration Tribunal for the border dispute between Croatia and Slovenia has decided that the land border in Istria follows the Dragonja river and ends in the middle of the Channel of St. Odorik.
The Court has previously announced the decision that Sveta Gera peak belongs to the Croatian territory, but also announced that it has no jurisdiction to decide on the Croatian demand that Slovenian military complex located there should be removed from the Croatian territory.
As for the maritime border, the Tribunal considers that border must follow a line between the lines suggested by the two parties. Under the 1991 agreement, that line must connect the land border at the mouth of the Dragonja River to the point at the end of the gulf, which is three times closer to Croatia then to the Slovenian side. The Tribunal thinks that this should be the border. The border in the bay will, therefore, be a straight line connecting the land and the point in the bay.
“There is currently no location where the territorial sea of Slovenia is directly connected to the open sea,” said the president of the tribunal.
“The Tribunal has the duty to determine the Slovenian junction with the international waters. The Tribunal ruled that the junction between the Slovenian territorial sea and the open sea is an area where ships enjoy the same rights from Slovenia as they enjoy at the open sea. The junction will be about 2.5 nautical miles wide and will be connected to the border.
The Tribunal finds that junction means a physical location between two or more areas, and in this case the Tribunal defines this word as a link between the territorial sea of Slovenia and the territories outside the territorial seas of Croatia and Italy. The Tribunal also considers that a junction may be regarded as a literally geographical line or area. The Tribunal grants to Slovenia the right to use part of Croatian territorial waters in order to have unimpeded access to international waters.