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This Article examines Australia's attempt to protect whales in the Antarctic Southern Ocean, in an area that almost all states consider beyond national jurisdiction. Such an examination is important because of the apparently intractable divide on the issue in the International Whaling Commission. The Article begins by outlining the evolution of the Australian cultural and legal posture toward whaling. It also sets out current Australian whaling law, including the establishment of the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Australian mainland and external territories (including the purported Australian Antarctic Territory in the Southern Ocean). The Article then analyzes how municipal litigation has been deployed as a protection strategy in Australian courts by NGOs in an attempt to protect whales in the Antarctic Southern Ocean. The Article then turns attention to significant legal limits and problems connected to this strategy. Finally, the Article concludes by highlighting the benefits and costs associated with the unilateral Australian legal approach in the Southern Ocean.


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6 Sep 2022
852 kB



  • Subject
    • Environmental Law

    • Law of the Sea

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review

  • Volume
    • 36

  • Issue
    • 2

  • Pagination
    • 319

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022