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UN top court to rule on Japan whale hunt in Antarctic

Published on Mar 31, 2014 10:04 AM

THE HAGUE (AFP) - The UN's top International Court of Justice will rule on Monday whether Japan has the right to hunt whales in the Antarctic, in an emotive case activists say is make-or-break for the giant mammal's future.

Presiding Judge Peter Tomka is to read the court's ruling on the matter at 0800 GMT (4pm Singapore time) at the ICJ's historic headquarters at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Australia in 2010 hauled Japan to the ICJ in an attempt to torpedo whale hunting in the Southern Ocean, a practice Canberra says is a thinly-disguised commercial exploit under cover of scientific research.

While Norway and Iceland have commercial whaling programmes in spite of a 1986 International Whaling Commission (IWC) moratorium, Japan insists its programme is scientific, while admitting that the resulting meat ends up on plates back home.

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