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In Passage Through the Great Belt, Finland requested the International Court of Justice to issue provisional measures preventing Denmark from constructing a bridge that could lead to an abridgment of Finnish ships' rights of free passage through the Great Belt. The ICJ denied Finland's request for interim orders, and in so doing made a pointed note that "in principle ... if it is established that the construction of works involves an infringement of a legal right, the possibility cannot and should not be excluded a priori of a judicial finding that such works must not be continued or must be modified or dismantled." Twenty years later, this statement would be institutionalized as "a principle of international law" in an arbitration proceeding between India and Pakistan.

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