The ICJ whaling case: science, transparency and the rule of law

Brendan Gogarty, Peter Lawrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The International Court of Justice (ICJ) Whaling Case (Australia v. Japan, New Zealand intervening) was greeted by the popular press, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, as a win for “good science” as opposed to “bogus science”. However, in this article we argue that a closer analysis of the decision reveals that the ICJ - by sidestepping the crucial issue of how to define “scientific research” under the Whaling Convention - missed an opportunity to further the rule of law in international law, particularly as it applies to commons areas that require scientific cooperation and obligations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)134-160
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Law and Information Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

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