Federal Court to issue Judgement in HSI case against Japanese whalers
Federal Court of Australia – Queens Square, Phillip St, Sydney
HSI will conduct a doorstop outside the court at 11am.
The Federal Court of Australia will tomorrow decide whether to give Humane Society International (HSI) permission to proceed with a court case against the Japanese whaling company that hunts whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary adjacent to Antarctica as part of Japan’s so-called “scientific research” program.
HSI estimates the company, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd, has killed well over 850 minke whales within the Australian Whale Sanctuary since it was proclaimed in July 2000 under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act.
Under the EPBC Act it is an offence to kill whales in the Australian Whale Sanctuary and conservation groups have the power to go to court to demand the law be enforced. However, HSI needs initial permission from the Court to commence proceedings because the case involves a foreign company.
Last year, Justice James Allsop refused HSI permission to bring the case, citing concerns raised by Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock over Australia’s diplomatic relations with Japan. The Attorney-General had submitted to the Court that enforcing the Australian Whale Sanctuary against the Japanese company “would be likely to give rise to an international disagreement with Japan”.
HSI mounted an appeal to the Full Court of the Federal Court asking for Justice Allsop’s decision to be overturned. Today, Chief Justice Black and Justices Finkelstein and Moore will issue their Judgement on the Appeal.
If given permission to commence proceedings, at later hearings HSI will ask the Federal Court to declare the company’s activities illegal under Australian law and to issue an injunction for the hunt to be stopped.