The Australian Government last week filed a complaint at ICJ charging the Japanese whaling program off the Antarctic violated international ban of commercial whaling. Oral arguments are scheduled sometime after May 2012. More on the history of the case since Australia’s initial application last June can be found here, here and here.
The international legal instruments governing scientific research whaling include the International Convention for Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), specifically Article 65 governing marine mammals. More on rules governing scientific whaling permits and member states is available in the International Whaling Commission website.
Much has been written on the legality of scientific whaling and its interplay with international treaties and customs:
The Legitimacy of International Governance: A Coming Challenge for International Environmental Law; Bodansky, Daniel, 93 Am. J. Int'l L. 596 (1999)
Scientific Research Whaling in International Law: Objectives and Objections; Schiffman, Howard, 8 ILSA J. Int’l & Comp. L. 473 (2001-2002).
Status of Scientific Research Whaling in international law; Yagi, Nobuyuki, 8 ILSA J. Int’l & Comp. L. 487 (2001-2002).
Whales and Tuna: The Past and Future of Litigation between Australia and Japan; Klein, Natalie, 21 Geo. Int'l Envtl. L. Rev. 185 (2008-2009).
The Role and History of the International Whaling Commission; McHugh J.L., Harvard University Press, 1974.
To locate treatises, Search in Morris/Encore with these subject headings:
- International Whaling Commission
- Whaling - Government policy
- Whaling - Law and legislation