Humane Society International v Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd

December 2015

On behalf of Humane Society International (HSI), EDO NSW successfully acted in Federal Court contempt proceedings against Japanese whaling company, Kyodo Senpaku Kaisha Ltd (Kyodo).

The Federal Court of Australia has ruled that Kyodo is in contempt of Court, and fined the company $1 million.

In January 2008, we successfully represented HSI in long-running Federal Court proceedings which resulted in the Court declaring that Kyodo was breaching Australia’s federal environmental law by whaling in the Australian Whale Sanctuary in the Australian Antarctic Territory. The Court granted an injunction to restrain Kyodo from further breaches of the Federal environment law.

Following the Court’s ruling, HSI representatives travelled to Japan and served the injunction on Kyodo. Despite this, Kyodo has continued its whaling activities in the Australian Whale Sanctuary. No enforcement action was taken pending the outcome of the International Court of Justice hearing into Japan’s whaling program.

In March 2014, the International Court of Justice found that Japan’s whaling program was not in accordance with scientific research programs provided under international law and ordered Japan to cease its whaling program. However, in October 2014, Japan announced its intention to recommence whaling under a new program that it again claims is for scientific research.

With Japan’s whaling program due to recommence around December 2015, HSI sought to enforce the 2008 injunction. On 18 November 2015, the Federal Court ruled that Kyodo is in contempt of Court for continuing to kill whales in the Sanctuary despite the 2008 injunction. The Court fined the company $1 million dollars. Read the judgmentView our case graphic.

We are grateful to barristers Jeremy Kirk SC and James Hutton for their assistance in this matter.

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Judgment