Monday, 31 March 2014

On 31 March 2014 the International Court Of Justice rules that Japan's JARPA II annual whale slaughter in the Southern Ocean must cease

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has ruled that Japan's whaling program it not for scientific purposes and has forbidden the granting of further permits.
The finding by a 16-judge panel at the ICJ is in favour of Australia's argument that Japan's whaling program is carried out for commercial purposes rather than scientific research.
Japan has been able to kill unlimited numbers of whales in the Antarctic under treaty, arguing that they do so for scientific purposes.
Japan had argued it has complied with the moratorium despite a 2,000-year tradition of whale hunting, leaving coastal communities in "anguish" because they can no longer practice their ancestral traditions.
More than 10,000 whales have been killed since 1988 as a result of Japan's programs.
The ICJ's ruling is final and there will be no appeal.

The Sydney Morning Herald 31 March 2014:

The International Court of Justice has upheld Australia's bid to ban Japan's Antarctic whaling program. 
ICJ president Peter Tomka said the court concluded the scientific permits granted by Japan for its whaling program were not scientific research as defined under International Whaling Commission rules.
Mr Tomka said in The Hague that the court was persuaded that Japan had conducted a program for logistical and political considerations, rather than scientific research.
The court unanimously found it had jurisdiction to hear the case, and by 12 votes to four found that special permits granted by Japan in connection with the program, JARPA II, did not fall within the IWC convention.
It therefore ordered that Japan revoke any scientific permit under JARPA II and refrain from granting any further permits….
Australia sought an order from the International Court of Justice to stop the Japanese whale hunt in a case launched by the Rudd government in 2010.
The case began as tortuous diplomatic negotiations for Japan to phase out its Antarctic hunt broke down in the International Whaling Commission.
Other anti-whaling nations, including the United States, warned Australia against going to the court to fight the hunt which kills hundreds of whales each summer.
Washington's IWC Commissioner, Monica Medina, said that it was an uncertain gamble on whales' lives.
"This is a 'bet-the-whales' case," Ms Medina said then.
But a series of opinions by legal expert panels gathered by international wildlife conservation groups encouraged the then environment minister, Peter Garrett.
He argued strongly inside the Rudd government for taking on Japan, WikiLeaks documents showed….

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