eCite Digital Repository

Theatre sports in the Southern Ocean: engagement options for Australia in whale research protest action


Jabour, JA and Iliff, MS, Theatre sports in the Southern Ocean: engagement options for Australia in whale research protest action, Australian Journal of International Affairs, 63, (2) pp. 268-289. ISSN 1035-7718 (2009) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

The definitive published version is available online at:

DOI: doi:10.1080/10357710802389488


In the great whaling debate, fuelled twice yearly by the annual International Whaling Commission meeting and the departure of the Japanese research fleet for the Southern Ocean, silliness knows no bounds. 2008 was no exception, as the Southern Ocean again became the location of protest action (sometimes provocative and potentially life-threatening) against Japanese scientific research vessels. The Japanese are accused of ‘whaling’ in a whale sanctuary off the Australian Antarctic Territory, yet this claim to sovereignty is not legally proven and therefore not universally accepted. The Rudd Labor Government bowed to significant pressure and sent its Customs vessel, the Oceanic Viking, to spy on the Japanese fleet and gather evidence for a possible ‘world court’ action. This paper examines what options were available to Australia to intervene in the protest action, to monitor the Japanese research and to take legal action in an international forum within the constraints of internationally defined diplomatic and legal boundaries. It concludes that the risk of attracting the wrath of the Japanese government and other Antarctic Treaty countries is great indeed and the Australian government must be careful not to step too far outside these boundaries.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Political science
Research Field:Environmental politics
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:International relations
Objective Field:International relations not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Jabour, JA (Dr Julia Jabour)
UTAS Author:Iliff, MS (Mr Mike Iliff)
ID Code:62722
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:IASOS
Deposited On:2010-03-19
Last Modified:2014-12-03
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page