Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hague Trip: Whaling Case

I’m heading to The Hague on Sunday to attend to ICJ Announcement of their decision on the Australia v Japan (New Zealand Intervening) Case on Whaling in the Antarctic. You can read more at
I attended a briefing today with Dr. Harrison from the University of Edinburgh, who has been involved in the case as legal advisor for Japan. Another of my faculty, Professor Boyle, is serving as counsel and will be at the Peace Palace with us.
Quite interesting to see a case come through the docket!

Interesting in that I think Japan is probably correct legally in some ways, but I don’t actually want them to be killing whales.
One of the more major legal issues is that the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling currently banning whaling is actually set up as a fisheries/resources management rather than an actual ban on all whaling because we like whales. It was initially written to get whale stocks back up to a “fishable” level.
There is an exception on the current ban on commercial whaling for scientific whaling. Whaling – including lethal whaling – is legal. Questions for the Court are then whether they have jurisdiction, whether the whaling is properly “scientific”, whether the amount of whales they’re capturing is appropriate, and whether the lethal methods being used are necessary.

We shall see what the Court says on Monday. I and other Edinburgh students have a meeting with Judge Greenwood immediately after the case is announced, so we’ll hopefully have a chance to get some insight on how decisions were made.

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