Iron Rhine Arbitration (Belgium/Netherlands)

The "Iron Rhine" railway-trackDate of Award: 24 May 2005

In July 2003, The Kingdom of Belgium and The Kingdom of the Netherlands agreed to submit to an arbitral tribunal established under the auspices of the Permanent Court of Arbitration a dispute concerning the reactivation of the Iron Rhine railway (IJzeren Rijn, dating from 1879) linking the port of Antwerp, Belgium, to the Rhine basin in Germany, via the Dutch provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg.

The reactivation of the Iron Rhine railway was not contested as such, however the two countries differed, inter alia, over the entitlement of Belgium, on the one hand, to establish the plan for the reactivation, and the entitlement of the Netherlands, on the other, to insist on conditions specified under Dutch law for such a reactivation.

In its award, the Tribunal found, provided some conditions, that Belgium has the right to establish track specifications for the Iron Rhine railway line in the Netherlands and that Dutch legislation may be applied to its reactivation.

The arbitral tribunal consisted of:

Judge Rosalyn Higgins (President)
Professor Guy Schrans
Judge Bruno Simma
Professor Alfred Soons
Judge Peter Tomka

Research/ miscellaneous (Research Document)
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