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2 February 2007 - HSI success in court today      

HSI success in court today

Sydney, 2nd February 2007                

Humane Society International’s (HSI) legal action against the Japanese whalers took a step forward today in the federal court. HSI was successfully granted alternative means of serving the legal documents to the whaling company, despite the interference of the Japanese government in refusing to serve the documents via the usual channels.

Today’s progress shows that Japanese government intransigence will not prevent this case from continuing to its conclusion,” said Michael Kennedy, HSI Director. “It is vital that the Japanese demand for unfettered access to all marine resources on the high seas is answered with a resounding ‘no’ from Australia and other conservation-minded countries. The successful conclusion of this court case will give that message”.

The HSI case is based on the protection given to whales under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) which also established the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the coastal waters off Australia’s Antarctic Territory. Kyodo Senpaku routinely enter the Australian Whale Sanctuary to kill minke whales (for the first time this year they will also take fin whales, followed next year by humpbacks) and breach the EPBC each time they do so.

Now we will serve the documents to Kyodo such that they cannot be avoided or ignored. The next hearing in a few months will show whether the whalers’ disregard for Australian law includes ignoring its legal proceedings” added Mr. Kennedy.

HSI was represented in court by Stephen Gageler QC and the Environmental Defender’s Office (EDO), while Chris McGrath has been acting as junior counsel on the case.

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