International Law and Border Delimitation between Serbia and Croatia

Dimitrijević, Duško (2011) International Law and Border Delimitation between Serbia and Croatia. In: Japan and Serbia: regional cooperation and border issues : a comparative analysis / Proceedings of Round Table Conference, September 9-10, 2010, [Belgrade]. Institute for International Politics and Economics, Belgrade, pp. 28-39. ISBN 978-86-7067-157-7

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This study represents an attempt of author to describe the question of territorial delimitation between Croatia and Serbia on Danube River which has been topical as a result of succession of SFR Yugoslavia. After the demarcation of administrative line between Croatia and Serbia 1945th in the framework of the Yugoslav Federation, the Danube River had altered its’ riverbed, withdrawing Westwards from the East, thus de facto incorporating large areas of fertile land in territory of Vojvodina, Serbian northern province. During the process of dissolution of the former Yugoslavia, on basis of the report of the European Community Arbitration Commission, UN Security Council had adopted Resolution no. 777 which confirmed the principle uti possidetis by which have been announced that former administrative borders between former Yugoslav Republics became international borders. By virtue of this principle, the Danube River became de facto border between Croatia and Serbia. However, in previous period, application of the principle of uti possidetis has limited effect of freezing the territorial status quo existing at the moment of independence of the successor States. Because the clear legal title has not existed in the former Yugoslavia, the principle could be understood only in retrospective historical context which not precludes the parties from citing the contents of any indicia of title. Nowadays, Croatia requests the return of territory of approximately 11000 acres that had been “transferred” to Serbia due to alternation of Danube’s riverbed. Croatia bases this claim on measurements from cadastral survey register that had been carried out in 19th century by the Austrian-Hungarian Empire’s officials. Those mainly went along the main current of Danube, and partially along Danube tributaries. On the other side, Serbia follows the changes of current of Danube and insists on the application of general rule for delimitation of border at Danube river along the main current (Thalweg) that proved to be the best in regards to downstream transport when the water altitude is at lowest point. The application of the Thalweg as a general rule of delimitation preserves to each limitrophe State equality of right in the beneficial use of the Danube which may be important to unravel the actual confused boundary stands.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Danube River, delimitation, internatnional law, succession of SFR Yugoslavia, principle of uti possidetis, Serbia, Croatia
Depositing User: Ana Vukićević
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2020 09:08
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2020 09:08

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