Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan)

On 31 May 2010 Australia instituted proceedings before the International Court of Justice against the Government of Japan, alleging that Japan’s continued pursuit of a large scale programme of whaling under the Second Phase of its Japanese Whale Research Programme under Special Permit in the Antarctic (“JARPA II”) is in breach of obligations assumed by Japan under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (“ICRW”), as well as its other international obligations for the preservation of marine mammals and marine environment.

The Australian Attorney-General Robert McLelland, the Minister of Foreign affairs Kevin Rudd and the environment Minister Tony Burke, in a joint ministerial statement affirmed that 'Despite Australia repeatedly calling on Japan to cease its illegal whaling activities, Japan has refused to do so. The Australian government is responsible for protecting five whale species within its waters, including the humpback and blue whales. These animals are killed for their oils, but Japan argues that it engages in whaling purely for scientific research, rejecting any accusation.

On 13 July 2010 the Court filed an order fixing the time limits for the initial pleadings, setting the deadlines as 9 May 2011 for Australia and  9 March 2012 for Japan.

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Court Documents
Australia v. Japan Application instituting proceedings 31/05/2010Australia v. Japan Order fixing time limits 13/07/2010Australia v. Japan Press release Application instituting proceedings 01/06/2010Australia v. japan Press release Order fixing time limits 20/07/2010