False Sanctuary: The Australian Antarctic Whale Sanctuary and Long-Term Stability in Antarctica
VIII Sustainable Development Law & Policy, Vol. 17, Spring 2008
26 Pages Posted: 6 Apr 2008 Last revised: 15 Nov 2015
Date Written: July 1, 2008
The recent assertion of maritime jurisdiction by Australian courts over a Japanese whaling company for acts contrary to Australian law in the Antarctic Southern Ocean is alarming. Private litigation, based on an internationally disputed claim to sovereignty over Antarctic territory and a further contested claim to an EEZ appurtenant to that territory, ought not to serve as a proxy for cooperative (and hopefully effective) international management of the Antarctic environment. The big danger is that if other states follow Australia's lead in claiming sovereign rights and exercising attendant jurisdiction the chances of natural resource over-exploitation and environmental harm in the Antarctic is increased. It will, I believe, in the long run exacerbate the likelihood of a scramble for important, scarce and economically viable resources.
Keywords: International Law, Antarctica, Jurisdiction
JEL Classification: K33, K32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation