9 Oct 2011

Australia backs legal power to stop whaling

8:03 pm on 9 October 2011

Australia's Environment Minister Tony Burke says Australia is the only country taking Japan to court over whaling because it is tough, not because the legal process is futile.

Mr Burke has played down a suggestion other countries have steered clear of the International Court of Justice because the chances of winning are slim.

The environment minister was pressed to release the government's legal advice on the effectiveness of the court action and the chances of winning, but refused.

Mr Burke rejected claims from anti-whaling activists that legal action would prove useless because Japan would ultimately ignore any ruling.