NZ's views on Japanese whaling to go before International Court of Justice

23 November 2012

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully today announced New Zealand has formally lodged an intervention before the International Court of Justice in the case brought by Australia against Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.

Intervention is a procedure that enables a non-party to the case to put its legal views before the court.

Australia brought an action before the International Court of Justice in 2010 questioning the validity of Japan's so called "scientific" whaling programme in the Southern Ocean. In December 2010, the New Zealand Government decided in principle to intervene in the case.

"The government has now delivered on its stated intention," Mr McCully says.

"As a member of the International Whaling Commission, New Zealand has an interest in ensuring that the IWC works effectively and that the Whaling Convention is properly interpreted and applied.

"This is why the government decided to intervene. I do not intend to comment any further on our intervention at this stage, as the matter is now before the court."

Mr McCully says he is disappointed New Zealand had to pursue its interests in the ICJ because diplomatic initiatives failed to bring about a cessation of Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean.

"New Zealand has worked hard with Japan for over three years to try and find a permanent solution to whaling in the Southern Ocean. The government will continue to use all avenues possible to try to bring a halt to Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean."

 

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