ICJ's Ruling Against Japanese Whaling

May 1, 2013

The world saw a win for whales last month as the International Court of Justice (ICJ)  ruled in favour of Australia's case against Japanese whaling in Antarctic waters, in The Hague on March 31. 12 out of 16 judges in the ICJ ruled against claims that Japan's whaling was part of legitimate "scientific research", stating "that the special permits granted by Japan for the killing, taking and treating of whales in connection with JARPA II are not “for purposes of scientific research” under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling. While Japanese officials accepted the ruling, the future of their whaling endeavours remain to be seen as not only are ICJ judgements not necessarily binding, there is no enforcing body, and Japan could also reapply under a different permit. Somewhat comforting though, is that Japan has confirmed that it will remain a member of the International Whaling Commission.

 

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