“The Maritime Border Disputes of Croatia A study within the legal field of international maritime law concerning the on-going maritime border disputes between the Republic of Croatia, Republic of Slovenia, the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sta
Sammanfattning: Since the break-up of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Republic of Croatia has been involved in maritime border disputes with its neighbours the Republic of Slovenia, the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the State of Montenegro. During the past decades after gaining independence, the States have tried to solve the disputes with numerous negotiations and agreements. Nevertheless, until this day (2020), Croatia and Slovenia have failed to solve the dispute in the Bay of Piran/Savudrija, despite an international arbitration tribunal granting three-quarters of the bay to Slovenia. The ‘Neum Agreement’, signed in 1999, between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is still not in force and the matter is even more complex since Croatia is building the Peljesac Bridge on what Bosnia claims to be their maritime territory. The legal regime at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor and the maritime border between the territorial seas of Croatia and Montenegro is also disputed. Currently, the legal regime and the provisional maritime boundary is governed by a temporary protocol, signed by the governments of the two States under UN observation in 2002. Nevertheless, the agreement is only a temporary solution between the two neighbours, and voices are being raised that the protocol has outplayed its role. The thesis examines possible and plausible future solutions to the disputes from the perspective of international maritime law. This is done with consideration to relevant international treaties, provisions and regulations can provide in the on-going disputes. Furthermore, the concept of innocent passage is examined, since the Adriatic Sea constitutes an important area for maritime navigation. Maritime jurisdiction and sovereignty is examined, due to the presence of natural resources in the Adriatic Sea, which makes the maritime border delimitations even more delicate, since it involves aspects of exploration and exploitation of the resources in the maritime spaces of mentioned States. The thesis concludes that previous unratified treaties have largely been implemented by all States, in line with the principles of international maritime law. Nevertheless, permanent solutions must be sought mutually by the present and future governments of respective States.
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