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086- The Passage through Great Belt Case (Finland vs Denmark)

On May 17th, 1991, Finland filed an application instituting proceedings before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against Denmark in respect of a dispute concerning passage through the Great Belt, and the project by the Government of Denmark to build a fixed traffic connection for both road and rail traffic across the channels of the Great Belt. This construction would have had the effect of blocking the passage of boats of certain sizes, in particular those intended for drilling and oil rigs built in Finland.

The applicant State maintained that this project violated the right to free movement for all ships leaving the Finnish port and that any construction in the Great Belt channel should be discussed in good faith between the parties.

Finland has also filed a request for the indication of provisional measures aimed, in particular, at halting the work already undertaken. In its order of July 29th, 1991, the ICJ dismissed this request, finding that the facts of the case did not justify the imposition of such measures.

Order of 29-07-1991.pdf

By a letter dated September 3rd, 1992, the Agent of Finland, informed the Court that a settlement of the dispute had been reached between the parties. As Denmark did not raise any objection, the ICJ struck the case from the Court’s List.

Order of 10-09-1992.pdf

This summary is provided for informational purposes only, does not involve the responsibility of Dome and should in no way be used as a substitute for a careful reading of the judgment and order of the case.