Archive for July, 2015

Pismo predsedniku tribunala

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Ljubljana, 25. 06. 20015

Mr. Gilbert Guillaume, President
92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine
FRANCE

Mr. President
Given the current developments in connection with the Agreement on Arbitration to fix the state border between the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Croatia, I would like to communicate to the arbitral tribunal the following:

– Article 5 of the Agreement establishes that the Republic of Croatia is not a party to the proceedings.

Article 5: Critical date
No document or action undertaken unilaterally by either side after 25 June 1991 shall be accorded legal significance for the tasks of the Arbitral Tribunal or commit either side of the dispute and cannot, in any way, prejudge the award.

I.

On the 25 June 1991, the Republic of Slovenia declared its independence. It dissolved from SFR Yugoslavia, a country that has emerged from the merger of Slovenian lands (“ZEMALJA države Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba”, as state in the document on the merger – “Ujednijenje”) and the Kingdom of Serbia on 1 December 1918.

On 31 October 1918, following the same action by German lands on 21 October 1918, the Slovenian lands declared in accordance with the constitutional act of the sovereign Charles I. (Manifest, 16 October 1918), that “the government in Ljubljana assumes all the constitutional powers of all Slovenian lands”. Thus, the federation of these lands, a subject of international law, defined by the document on the merger (“Ujedinjenje”) as “ZEMLJE države Slovenaca, Hrvata i Srba”, with all its territory and state borders entered into a new South Slav state.

The Trianon Agreement (4 June 1920) defined the existing state border of Prekmurje on the Drava River from Zavrč to the confluence of the Mura – Drava rivers under Kotoriba. This agreement also remained in force after World War II.

Agreement in Rapallo (12 November 1920) between the Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of SHS surrendered the land of Primorje (Küstenland) to Italy, adding to the territory the Postojna district. Italy named the land Venezia Giulia (Slovene: Julijska Benečija). With the peace treaty after World War II. Italy surrendered this land back to Yugoslavia, with the exception of Gradiška with the majority of the city of Gorica (Gorizia) and the city of Trst (Trieste) and its surroundings.

This internationally legally relevant status remained unchanged at all times within Yugoslavia, last called SFR Yugoslavia. Administrative fixing of the boundaries that have occurred within the Yugoslav state, had no effect on international levels. Thus, the declaration of independence of the Republic of Slovenia on 25 June 1991 legally and de facto imply that the Slovenian lands that merged with the Kingdom of Serbia on 1 December 1918 to form the South Slav state, left this union. The same as they entered it. The borders of the Slovenian lands have always been state borders, they have never been legally changed while Yugoslavia existed, and as such are protected by the Helsinki documents

The Brioni conference on 7 July 1991 was a de facto recognition of the independent country of the Republic of Slovenia, one of the three participants. These were “The Three” of the EEC, SFR Yugoslavia as the agressor, and the Republic of Slovenia as the attacked country. The Conference established the state of the facts, and set a moratorium on further procedures for three months. Thus, the decision affected the Republic of Slovenia as an independent and sovereign state, whereas the neighboring Republic of Croatia was affected as a Yugoslav Republic which was only able to declare and carry into effect its independence after the moratorium had lapsed, on 8 October 1991.

The Yugoslav Army attacked the independed and sovereign state Slovenia and did not attack its Yugoslav republic Croatia as it had not declared its independence. This republic declared independence on 8 October 1991.

The problem of fixing the state border of the Republic of Slovenia is thefore a problem of the Republic of Slovenia and “Yugoslavia” – the remnants of it after 25 June 1991. This is also clearly and unequivocally stated in the Agreement on Arbitration (Article 5).

The Agreement on Arbitration also requires compliance with the effective international legal status on 25 June 1991, and requires the arbitral tribunal to determine the course of the state border in accordance with this status.

II.

Slovenian lands – states – have been an internationally legal geopolitical fact from the beginning. They were states of its citizens of various ethnicities. It was the Italian, Austrian (German), Hungarian and Croatian ethnochauvinism that has brought difficult times for people. The problems with the state borders of the Slovenian lands (which entered South Slav state) and Italy, Austria and Hungary were largely solved. What remained was ethnic and territorial expansionism of the Zagreb politics which escalated in the Nazi-Fascist formation NDH and most recently in the brutal and destructive ethnic cleansing in the wars from the autumn of 1991 onwards.

The dispute to be resolved by the Agreement on Arbitration is of course the consequence of Croatia’s ethnic and territorial expansionism – the encroachment of large parts of the territory of Slovenian lands of Primorje and Pomurje that have never in history existed within any kind of a Croatian state. There have always lived freely asserted their interests in these lands different ethnicities (with the exception of the period of fascist and nazi violence of the neighbors). Since the authorities in Zagreb continue with its expansionism, and even celebrate it with the military parades as military victories, which are actually the worst ethnic cleansing in Europe after World War II, it is a sacred duty of the Arbitral Tribunal to act strictly according to the terms of the Agreement on Arbitration, stops the ethnic and territorial expansionism, does not allow “dismembering” the always whole lands, and take full account of the state border of Slovenian lands from Reka to Kotoriba as protected by the Helsinki documents.

Any different action by the tribunal may encourage unsatisfied nationalistic and chauvinistic appetites in the Balkan neighborhood, where the well-intentioned try with utmost effort to sanitize the tragic situation following the recent raging of the ethnic and territorial expansionism. It can also awaken similar passions in the rest of the neighboring regions, with which the people, citizens of Slovenian lands, had very painful esperience, especially in the last century.

The Agreement on Arbitration therefore requires from the arbitral tribunal to determine the course of the state border in accordance with the situation on 25th June 1991. Chapter II. also reveals that it is also the imperatives of good neighborliness and peaceful coexistence, and especially the vital interests of the citizens of Slovenian lands, that demand that the tribunal follows the requirements defined in the Agreement.