Sunday 21 April 2013

See you in court - Australia vs Japan case to be heard in June

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has scheduled the oral hearings for Australia’s whaling case against Japan to commence on 26 June this year.

This will be the first time that the legality of Japan’s "scientific whaling" program has been challenged before the ICJ.

It will have been just over three years since the Australian Government instituted these proceedings, Whaling in the Antarctic - Australia v. Japan. [See News Item 20.01.2011]

Australia’s case is based on the premise that Japan’s lethal Antarctic scientific whaling program has no relevance for the conservation and management of whales and cannot be justified. Australia argues that Japan has failed to observe the commercial whaling moratorium in good faith, that Japan’s JARPA II program within the Southern Ocean Sanctuary is a continuation of commercial-level whaling and that the target species include endangered fin whales and potentially humpback whales as well.

Appearing for Australia will be Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC, assisted by Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson SC, Bill Campbell QC, Professor James Crawford SC, Professor Philippe Sands QC and Professor Laurence Boisson de Chazournes.

The hearings are expected to take three weeks and it is hoped that a decision might be handed down before the commencement of Japan’s 2013/14 Antarctic hunt.


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