1957

AT

Lake Lanoux Arbitration France v Spain

The arbitration concerned use of waters of a lake in the Pyrenees. France wanted to carry out certain works for the utilisation of waters; Spain was feared that such works adversely affect its interests, contrary to the Bayonne Treaty 1866. Spain alleged that under the Treaty the works had to be taken under previous agreement.

The Treaty imposed in the case of a state wanted to erect works likely to alter or change the course of the watercourse a double obligation. Prior notice (was given) to the competent authorities, and safeguards for all interests involved on either side. Wrongly Spain tends to put rights and simple interests on the same plane. France is entitled to exercise her rights; she cannot ignore Spanish interests. Spain is entitled to demand that her rights be respected and that her interests be taken into consideration. France is not obliged to involve Spain in the development of schemes, in the discussions France has the right to give preference to her solution provided she has considered in a reasonable manner the interests of Spain. In carrying out without prior agreement between the two governments, works for the utilisation of the waters of Lake Lanoux in the conditions mentioned in the Scheme notified to the Governor of the province of Gerona 1954, the French government was not committing a breach of the provisions of the Treaty of Bayone