Outside view of the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). The Peace Palace has been the seat of the ICJ since 1946Outside view of the Peace Palace in The Hague (Netherlands). The Peace Palace has been the seat of the ICJ since 1946 photo: Capital Photos/Frank van Beek - Courtesy of the ICJLegal proceedings will begin at the International Court of Justice in The Hague from Wednesday 26th June, as the Australian Government presents its case against Japan's whaling operations in the Southern Ocean. The hearings are set down for three weeks from 26 June to 16 July.

“I expect the World Court will find Japan is whaling for commercial reasons and that it is a breech of international law,” said Chair Sea Shepherd Australia, Dr Bob Brown.

“Sea Shepherd Australia has been upholding the law and providing the only direct protection for thousands of whales, who would have been slaughtered for profit by the Japanese fleet. The question of enforcing the World Court decision, if successful, now looms large,” said Dr Brown.

“There is no global environment policing agency. It will be up to the Australian and New Zealand Governments to uphold the law if Japan ignores the International Court of Justice ruling that commercial whaling must stop,” said Dr Brown.

“Japanese whaling is not only morally wrong it is also in violation of international regulations and no doubt the ICJ will come to the same conclusion. I expect however that the Japanese Government will treat the verdict of the ICJ exactly the same as any other international court verdict/treaty or resolution: with the complete disregard and lack of respect for the opinion of the international community. This will only further isolate the Japanese government from the rest of the world,” said Captain Alex Cornelissen, Director Sea Shepherd Global, Director of Operations Sea Shepherd Galapagos.

“I think the time has come for trade sanctions to be imposed on a Government who’s sole purpose seems to be the destruction of our oceans, be it though illegal whaling/overfishing or lack of measures to prevent radio-active waste from being discarded into the oceans. The Japanese Government is manifesting itself as an environmental serial killer and the international community needs to start holding them accountable for their actions,” said Captain Cornelissen.

The public hearings will also be broadcast live and in full on the International Court of Justice’s website at www.icj-cij.org and will be available on UN Web TV at www.webtv.un.org.

Sea Shepherd's fleet defending whales in the Southern OceanSea Shepherd's fleet defending whales in the Southern Ocean
photo: Sea Shepherd Australia/Eliza Muirhead

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