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1the Iron Rhine Case And The Art Of Treaty Interpretation The Application of Nineteenth Century Obligations in the Twenty-first Century

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Chapter Summary

The Iron Rhine is a railway linking the port of Antwerp to the Rhine basin in Germany across Dutch territory. The Treaty of Separation grants Belgium the right of transit on the rivers Scheldt and Maas, the use of cross-border canals and the right of passage through the Dutch towns Maastricht and Sittard. Faced with the application of an 1839 Treaty in the twenty-first century, there is no surprise that the Tribunal found the problem of intertemporality of great importance. The intertemporal rule entails that regard should be provided to the international law in force at the time of the conclusion of a treaty. The Netherlands and Belgium differed in opinion on the interpretation of several parts of Article XII of the Treaty of Separation. The Kasikili/Sedudu Island case concerned the determination of the boundary between Botswana and Namibia in the Chobe river.

Keywords: Belgium; Dutch territory; Germany; international law; Iron Rhine; Treaty of Separation



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