Category Archives: Sophia Kopela

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Japan’s predicament with whaling

Dr Sophia Kopela

The Japanese Prime Minister caused some concern on Monday last week when he told Parliament that he aimed ‘for the resumption of commercial whaling by conducting whaling research in order to obtain scientific data indispensable for the management of whale resources’. This comes less than three months after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) delivered its Judgment in the long-running dispute concerning Japan’s whaling activities in the Antarctic. In this case brought before the ICJ by Australia against Japan, the World Court found that the Japanese whale research programme in the Antarctic (known as JARPA II) was in breach of Japan’s obligations in international law, and ordered Japan to revoke the relevant permits and to refrain from the granting of further permits in pursuance of this programme (see my previous blog).

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(C) Visit Greenland

Saving the whales: the ICJ judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic case

Dr Sophia Kopela

Whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v Japan: New Zealand intervening), ICJ Judgment of 31 March 2014.

On 31st March 2014, the International Court of Justice delivered its long-awaited judgment in the Whaling in the Antarctic case between Australia and Japan concerning the legality of the whaling activities of the latter in the Southern Ocean. The Court’s finding that Japan was indeed in breach of its obligations arising from the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) is certainly welcomed, though the ICJ could have elaborated more on aspects concerning the interpretation of this Convention. In this post, I will present an overview of the reasoning of the ICJ, and offer some comments concerning the significance and the potential impact of the judgment for whaling in general.

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