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IWC Ignores Rule Of Law … Again

20 May 2002 – Shimonoseki, Japan

IWC Ignores Rule Of Law … Again

The International Whaling Commission (IWC) has once again ignored the rule of law as anti-whaling members voted to prevent Iceland from the right to vote.

Japan’s IWC Commissioner, Minoru Morimoto, said the IWC had contravened customary international law and questioned its credibility as an international resource management organization.

“If the Commission can decide who can and cannot become a member by a sheer majority – in this case of anti-whaling nations – no other member is safe. The Commission has given itself the power to remove any member at will.”

Mr Morimoto said that following today’s vote on Iceland, half the members of the IWC showed that they are fast losing faith in the organization. “The IWC is an organization under stress, in distress and in a mess. How can an organization in which around half its membership have no faith expect to continue into the future,” he said.

It is decisions like the one taken in London over Iceland, and again in Shimonoseki, that undermine the credibility of the International Whaling Commission as a legitimate international organization.

Mr Morimoto said that Iceland had deposited its instrument of adherence to the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling (ICRW) 1946 with the depository government, the United States.

“Under the ICRW, once a nation has lodged its instrument of adherence, that country is a member and its status cannot be decided by a majority of voting nations,” Mr Morimoto said.


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