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THE Whaling Case: Beyond Australia Vs Japan

LAWS 4007 - International Environmental Law

18 Pages Essays / Projects Year: Pre-2020

In May 2010 Australia initiated proceedings in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the State of Japan. The Court found that it had jurisdiction over the dispute on the basis of Japan and Australia’s declaration of acceptance under Article 36, paragraph 2 of the Courts Statute. Under Article 36, both Australia and Japan have recognized the “jurisdiction of the Court in all legal disputes concerning: (a) the interpretation of a treaty; (b) any question of international law; [and] (c) the existence of any fact which, if established, would constitute a breach of international obligation.” Japan contested the Courts jurisdiction arguing that it fell within the reservation (b) of Australia’s declaration which excludes from the Court’s jurisdiction any disputed arising out of, concerning, or relating to exploitation of maritime zones. The Court concluded that Australia’s reservation (b) intended only to address maritime boundary delimitations and since there was no overlapping maritime claim between Australia and Japan, reservation (b) was not applicable. The Court reminded Japan that the maritime zones had no relevance in this dispute which was about whether or not Japan’s Whaling programmes in the Southern Ocean were consistent with International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) and accordingly international law.

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