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Abstract

On March 31, 2014, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) held that Japan’s whaling program, known as JARPA II, lacked scientific merit and thus violated three provisions of the Schedule to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW). This victory for whale conservationists was short-lived, however, as Japan, ignoring procedural safeguards put in place by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), soon announced its plan to launch a new whaling program in conformity with both the ICJ’s decision and the ICRW. Japan’s course of action highlights not only the limited applicability of the ICJ’s judgment, but also the inability of the IWC to effectively regulate Contracting Governments.

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