Whales in the Courtroom: The Historic Ruling of the International Court of Justice Against Japan’s Scientific Whaling in Antarctica

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The ruling of the International Court of Justice on March 31, 2014 is the first judgment to determine that the scientific hunting program of the Japanese in Antarctica does not meet the purpose of scientific research under the statutes put forth by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Therefore, the aforementioned program of the Japanese government has infringed upon the global moratorium of commercial hunting and the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The stance that Japan has adopted in respect to the irreversible ruling made by the International Court of Justice has set a precedent that will have profound implications in the conservation and management of Antarctic biodiversity, as well as on the principles that govern existing programs of scientific research in the Southern Ocean.

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