Japan’s whaling claims untrue and offensive to Australia, the United Nations & International Law.
THE AMAZON PINK DOLPHIN’S VOICE-10/07/2013
Japan’s whaling claims ‘untrue and offensive to Australia’ Attorney-General tells UN court
FORMER Greens leader Bob Brown says anti-whaling activists Sea Shepherd are still preparing for battle on the high seas this summer with Japan.
As Australia’s case in the UN’s top court against Japan’s scientific whaling program draws to a close, Mr Brown said the group was still making preparations in the event that Japan goes out and hunts whales in December.
“We are preparing as if the outcome doesn’t prevent future whaling or Japan thumbs it’s nose at the ruling of the (International Court of Justice),” Mr Brown, who is now mission commander for Sea Shepherd, told News Corp Australia.
“We’d like nothing better than to be denied the reason for going to Antarctica but unfortunately I don’t think that will be the case.
“We are standing by to keep up the fight.”
Mr Brown said there had been “half a million dollars” in damage to the four Sea Shepherd ships last summer by Japanese vessels engaging in alleged violent ramming.
Japan has accused the Australian government of being too close to Sea Shepherd activists.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said Japan had resorted to “untrue and offensive” statements while attempting to justify its Southern Ocean whaling hunt before the UN’s top court.
He accused Tokyo of spouting baseless allegations which weren’t relevant to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) dispute.
Mr Dreyfus was particularly upset by lawyer Payam Akhavan’s claim last week that Canberra was engaged in “an emotional anti-whaling moral crusade that in the name of zero-tolerance tolerates Sea Shepherd’s violent extremism, the politicisation of science (and) the collapse of the IWC (International Whaling Commission)”.
“As well as being a statement completely devoid of legal argument this is untrue and offensive to Australia,” the attorney-general said in The Hague.
“That this was the character of the Japanese response to Australia’s legal argument speaks volumes for the weakness of the Japanese case.”
Japanese factory whaling ship the Nisshin Maru (R) hauls a newly caught minke whale up its slipway while harpoon ship the Yushin Maru No 2 sails close behind and a Sea Shepherd helicopter flies overhead. Picture: Sea Shepherd Source: AP
Canberra wants the 16-judge panel to ban Tokyo’s annual hunt on the basis it’s not “for purposes of scientific research” as allowed under Article 8 of the 1946 whaling convention.
Australia argues the program is actually a commercial operation.
Mr Dreyfus on Tuesday said it was “wholly untrue and ridiculous” to suggest – as Japan had – that Canberra outsourced Antarctic maritime enforcement to the conservation group Sea Shepherd.
“Australia has called for all vessels in the Southern Ocean, including those of Japan and Sea Shepherd, to comply with international law in their actions,” he said.
The Labor MP denied Australia had brought the case in a spirit of cultural imperialism after Professor Akhavan last week told the court “the days of civilising missions and moral crusades are over”.
“This case in not about civilising missions or whether the Australian government or Australian public like or dislike the consumption of whale meat,” Mr Dreyfus said.
Sea Shepherd ship the M/Y Steve Irwin collides with the stern of Japanese harpoon whaling ship the Yushin Maru No 2 in the Ross Sea, Antarctic Sea in 2009. Picture: Sea Shepherd. Source: AP
Nor was it about Canberra’s opposition to commercial whaling.
“This case is about the failure of one country to comply with its international legal obligations not to conduct commercial whaling.”
The attorney-general also criticised lawyer Alain Pellet for describing anti-whaling countries on the IWC as “puppets of Australia”.
Commission votes were democratic, Mr Dreyfus said.
“Professor Pellet has adopted the old tactic that the best form of defence is offence – in both senses of the meaning of that word.”
The three-week hearing wraps up next week. Canberra is hoping the court will issue a ruling banning whaling by the end of the year – soon enough to halt the next whaling season.
Anti-whaling case: Dreyfus denies Japan’s claims Australia in bed with Sea Shepherd
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has angrily rejected Japanese claims that the Australian Government has “outsourced” its anti-whaling campaign to controversial activist group Sea Shepherd.
Mr Dreyfus was speaking as he wrapped up Australia’s legal challenge to the whaling program at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
Demanding Japan produce evidence to support its case for whaling, he said there was no evidence the whaling program was used for scientific purposes.
And he was highly critical of Japan’s previous assertions to the court about Australia’s relationship with anti-whaling activists, saying allegations Australia supported violent extremism were offensive and untrue.
“It is wholly untrue and ridiculous to suggest that Australia has outsourced Antarctic maritime enforcement to Sea Shepherd,” he said.
Japan has previously told the court Australia is engaged in an “alarmist crusade” against whaling.
Its lawyers argue the killing of whales in the Southern Ocean is part of a legitimate scientific program to establish whether commercial whaling is sustainable.
But Mr Dreyfus has told ABC News Breakfast that Japan’s scientific justification for its whaling program is “not supported by any proper hypothesis”.
“Japan called an expert who was unable to explain how they’d selected even the number of minke whales that has been the Japanese target for many years,” he said.
“When you can’t explain why you are killing that many whales, when you can’t identify for the court what is the purpose of the activity in a scientific sense, it’s not science at all.”
Australia has one more day of closing submissions in the case, which is being presided over by 16 judges.
Japan will respond next week.
But Japan’s delegation spokesman, Noriyuki Shikata, has already criticised Australia’s case.
“Today we have not really heard effective legal rebuttal based on evidence and reasoning and we have an impression that many of the allegations are driven by emotions, not on science,” he said.
Source: ABC News
Editorial: SELVA-Vida Sin Fronteras
Gustavo López Ospina
Pieter Jan Brouwer
Assistant: Emilia Romero
The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice is associated with the International Environmental Mission, a grass roots citizens movement created by Chilean Senator Juan Pablo Letelier.
SELVA Vida Sin Fronteras acknowledges Kevin Schafer’s important contribution towards protecting the highly endangered Amazon pink fresh water dolphin. Title photographs of our “The Amazon Pink Dolphin’s Voice” were taken by Mr. Schafer.