The finding was a major victory for Australia who took the case against Japan's continued whaling in the Southern Ocean to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
Japan has finally stated it will cease whaling in the Southern Ocean.
This is a huge victory for whales!
The panel ruled 12 to 4 in favour of Australia and whales, acknowledging that Japanese justification of whaling for scientific research was little more than a thinly vieled excuse for exploiting whales for the restaurant trade.
The Australian government has welcomed the news and claims the decision will not have a negative impact on Australia's trading relationship with Japan, though stating the cost of the case was extremely high in budgetary terms.
To most Australians, it is money well spent and a commendable use of our tax-payer's dollars!
I also wish to pay tribute to Sea Shepherd Australia and their wonderful work, in both protecting whales, during the whaling season, as well as keeping the scandalous and inhumane Japanese practice of whaling in the public eye.
Many of the Sea Shepherd's front line activists have bravely faced, not only the whalers harpoons, but also imprisonment in Japan and Russia, in pursuit of putting an end to whaling.
I also pay tribute to the government of Julia Gillard who instigated the case against Japan and all those public servants who worked on collecting evidence, developing and putting the case.
This victory sets a precedent, within the International Court of Justice, for future cases in relation to animal welfare and the environment, opening the door for cases against countries involved in the illegal ivory trades, rhinocerous horn and bear bile extraction. Lets hope other nations will follow Australia's lead in having international law enforced to enable animal welfare!
On a personal note, this victory is one close to my heart. I began as a young activist, in the mid 1970s, on the 'save the whale campaign', to end legal whaling in Australia. I still have the badge I wore to promote the cause in my collection!