Its Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will lead the case for the final stretch of the 3wk. hearing, beginning tomorrow in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague. He says both sides have filed very lengthy legal and factual arguments: "Our views are well-established. We strongly oppose all commercial whaling, including so-called 'scientific' whale hunting by Japan. We believe Japan's whaling is contrary to its international obligations and we want this practice brought to a halt once and for all."
Australia and Japan, a key trading partner, remain friends despite their disagreement over whaling. Naturally. Money makes more noise than a harpooned whale, screaming in agony...
Dreyfus: "We both agree the ICJ is the best place to resolve differences between friends. Both countries value our strong bilateral relationship and the friendship forged between our nations over
These hearings mark the end-game of proceedings started by Oz in 2010, and its hopeful of a decision before the start of the next Sthrn Hemisphere whaling season at the end of this year.
More than 10,000 whales have been killed since 1988 as a result of Japan's whaling programmes in the Southern Ocean. The annual 'research' killings in the Sthrn Ocean has provoked anger from conservationists, with Sea Shepherd tailing the nasty Nippon fleet each year and clashing with the ships. This year the season logged a record low catch, with the Japanese blaming "unforgivable sabotage" by SS.
Dreyfus: "Of course we're hopeful of getting the result we want."
And then what? Who will stop Japan continuing to hunt? Will the Australian Navy intervene? I think not.
So...with the best of intentions, the 'best of friends' will be back to square one.
PS: 30 June 2013 - Drefuss has faith that Japan WILL abide by the ICJ decision...