Australia sues Japan to end whaling program

An international legal challenge to Japanese whaling in the Antarctic has been upheld. Australia’s counsel, Bill Campbell QC, told the International Court of Justice, “Japan seeks to cloak its ongoing commercial whaling in the lab coat of science. It simply is not science.” The court agreed, ruling that the scale of the whaling operation and its limited scientific reporting suggested it was really a commercial venture. The judges ordered Japan to “revoke any extant authorization, permit or licence to kill, take or treat whales”. The ICJ is a United Nations court with jurisdiction to hear disputes about international treaties. Australia and Japan are both signatories to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.