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The International Court of Justice finds that Japan’s whaling…

The International Court of Justice finds that Japan’s whaling programme in the Antarctic (JARPA II) is not in accordance with three provisions of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling

In its judgement given today in the case relating to whaling in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan: New Zeeland intervening), the International Court of Justice:
`(1) Unanimously,
Finds that it has jurisdiction to entertain the Application filed by Australia on 31 May 2010;
(2) By twelve votes to four,
Finds that the special permits granted by Japan in connection with JARPA II do not fall within the provisions of Article VIII, paragraph 1, of the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling;
IN FAVOUR: President Tomka; Vice-President Sepúlveda-Amor; Judges Keith, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari; Judge ad hoc Charlesworth;
AGAINST: Judges Owada, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf;
(3) By twelve votes to four,
Finds that Japan, by granting special permits to kill, take and treat fin, humpback and Antarctic minke whales in pursuance of JARPA II, has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 10 (e) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling;
IN FAVOUR: President Tomka; Vice-President Sepúlveda-Amor; Judges Keith, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari; Judge ad hoc Charlesworth;
AGAINST: Judges Owada, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf;
(4) By twelve votes to four,
Finds that Japan has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 10 (d) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in relation to the killing, taking and treating of fin whales in pursuance of JARPA II;
IN FAVOUR: President Tomka; Vice-President Sepúlveda-Amor; Judges Keith, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari; Judge ad hoc Charlesworth;
AGAINST: Judges Owada, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf; – 72 –
(5) By twelve votes to four,
Finds that Japan has not acted in conformity with its obligations under paragraph 7 (b) of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling in relation to the killing, taking and treating of fin whales in the “Southern Ocean Sanctuary” in pursuance of JARPA II;
IN FAVOUR: President Tomka; Vice-President Sepúlveda-Amor; Judges Keith, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindad, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari; Judge ad hoc Charlesworth;
AGAINST: Judges Owada, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf;
(6) By thirteen votes to three,
Finds that Japan has complied with its obligations under paragraph 30 of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling with regard to JARPA II;
IN FAVOUR: President Tomka; Vice-President Sepúlveda-Amor; Judges Owada, Abraham, Keith, Bennouna, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindade, Yusuf, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja;
AGAINST: Judges Sebutinde, Bhandari; Judge ad hoc Charlesworth;
(7) By twelve votes to four,
Decides that Japan shall revoke any extant authorization, permit or licence granted in relation to JARPA II, and refrain from granting any further permits in pursuance of that programme.
IN FAVOUR: President Tomka; Vice-President Sepúlveda-Amor; Judges Keith, Skotnikov, Cançado Trindade, Greenwood, Xue, Donoghue, Gaja, Sebutinde, Bhandari; Judge ad hoc Charlesworth;
AGAINST: Judges Owada, Abraham, Bennouna, Yusuf. ` (http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/148/18136.pdf)

As a consequence, despite the enthusiasm spread on-line, the aforesaid judgement concerns only the taking, killing or treating of whales in a region designated as the Southern Ocean Sanctuary, under the moratorium ruled by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling.
It is a great victory. A really good one, indeed, but only a start.

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