Research Handbook on International Energy Law
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Research Handbook on International Energy Law

Edited by Kim Talus

International energy law is an elusive but important concept. There is no body of law called ‘international energy law’, nor is there any universally accepted definition for it, yet many specialised areas of international law have a direct relationship with energy policy. The Research Handbook on International Energy Law examines various aspects of international energy law and offers a comprehensive account of its basic concepts and processes.
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Chapter 21: Transit: The EU energy acquis and the Energy Charter Treaty

Katja Yafimava


This section gives a brief overview of the evolution of the concept of transit in the body of international law. The foundations of the concept of 'transit' were laid down in the seventeenth century by Hugo de Groot, who was the first to state the existence of a general right of transit across the territory of another state in the interests of the community of nations. In more recent times this principle received further elaboration in the 1921 Convention and Statute on Freedom of Transit (Barcelona Convention), the 1995 WTO/GATT, and the 1967 Convention on Transit Trade of Land-locked States (New York Convention). The 1921 Barcelona Convention provides that contracting parties 'shall facilitate free transit' (art. 2) and defines (art. 1) transit as persons, baggage and goods, . . . vessels, coaching and good stock, and other means of transport, shall be deemed to be in transit across territory under the sovereignty or authority of one of the Contracting States, when the passage across such territory, with or without transhipment, warehousing, breaking bulk or change in the mode of transport is only a portion of a complete journey, beginning and terminating beyond the frontier of the State across whose territory the transit takes place.

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