The International Court of Justice (ICJ), the principal judicial arm of the United Nations, has announced that it will deliver its preliminary judgment in the case between Australia and Japan concerning whaling in the Antarctic.
In the summer of 2013, the Australian government took Japan to the court in a bid to expose the true nature Japanese so-called ‘scientific’ research programme under which it has previously killed over 7,000 in the Antarctic region. During the hearing, representatives from the Australian government outlined how useless Japanese whaling is in scientific terms, stating that the ‘research’ programme only makes use of a small part of the whale, whilst the rest is turned into edible products and a third discarded – thus confirming that these hunts are effectively commercial whaling in disguise and just an excuse for Japanese whalers to get around the current international ban on such hunts. The Australian legal team also pointed out to the court that Japan has never explained why it needs to kill thousands of minke whales undermining the claim that it’s in the name of research.
The Australian government had been threatening legal action over Japan’s whaling activities for some time and the ruling on March 31 could have a major impact on the future of this cruel practice .