Japanese Scientific Whaling “Unlawful” Say Top Legal Experts

Thursday, 1 June, 2006
Paris, France
An international panel of independent legal experts convened in Paris has found that Japanese scientific whaling is “unlawful” under international law, and contravenes key international conventions – a dramatic finding that opposes Japan’s long-held stance that it has the legal right to commercially hunt whales in the name of scientific research.
These findings come just weeks before the June 16-20th, 2006 annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in St. Kitts, at which Japan is expected to campaign strongly for its whaling activities.
The panel’s report, dubbed the Paris Report on Illegal Whaling, states that, “there is strong evidence that the ‘scientific whaling’ conducted by some members of the IWC is in violation of the moratorium on commercial whaling,” and that such whaling is “unlawful.”
IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare – www.ifaw.org), which commissioned the independent panel’s review, says the report solidifies the case against Japan’s whaling program.
“The findings of these independent legal experts are clear – Japan’s so-called ‘scientific’ whaling is unlawful,” said Dr. Joth Singh, IFAW Director of Wildlife and Habitat Protection. “The global community needs to hold Japan accountable for its disregard of international law, and IWC member nations may want to carefully consider their reputations before voting with Japan – as a vote for ‘scientific’ whaling is a vote for an unlawful activity.”

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