At World Court, Japan Derides Australia’s “Moral Crusade”

Judges at the International Court of Justice yesterday heard opening arguments in Australia’s legal bid to stop a Japanese whaling program. Japan’s lawyer tried to cast the case as an old-fashioned moral crusade that has no place in a diverse world. Via the Guardian: Japan has told the United Nation’s highest court that Australia‘s anti-whaling ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

Judges at the International Court of Justice yesterday heard opening arguments in Australia's legal bid to stop a Japanese whaling program. Japan's lawyer tried to cast the case as an old-fashioned moral crusade that has no place in a diverse world. Via the Guardian:

Judges at the International Court of Justice yesterday heard opening arguments in Australia’s legal bid to stop a Japanese whaling program. Japan’s lawyer tried to cast the case as an old-fashioned moral crusade that has no place in a diverse world. Via the Guardian:

Japan has told the United Nation’s highest court that Australia‘s anti-whaling stance is part of a "civilising mission and moral crusade" that is totally out of place in the modern world.

Tokyo did not hold back in its opening submission to the 16 judges of the international court of justice (ICJ) in The Hague on Tuesday.

"The days of civilising missions and moral crusades are over," lawyer Payam Akhavan told the court.

"In a world with diverse civilisations and traditions, international law cannot become an instrument for imposing the cultural preference of some at the expense of others."

Curiously enough, Japan’s lawyer played a key role in the first ever referral of an African case to the International Criminal Court–an institution that has often been attacked as a tool for imposing Western values. At the time, Akhavan was representing Uganda and helped negotiate the referral.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

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