UCL Faculty of Laws


Contemporary issues of whaling: A gordian knot?

04 February 2015, 6:00 pm–7:00 pm


Event Information

Open to



International Law Association


UCL Laws, Bentham House, Endsleigh Gardens, London WC1H 0EG

Speaker: Professor Malgosia Fitzmaurice (Queen Mary University of London)
Chair: Dr Martins Paparinskis (UCL)
Admission: Free
Accreditation: This event is accredited with 1 CPD hour

About the lecture

The legal and ethical questions concerning whaling are one of the most complex in contemporary world and lacking an immediate resolution. The contentious approaches in the area of whaling extend to all types of whaling: commercial; aboriginal; and scientific. The 2014 Whaling in the Antarctic case exemplified the complexity of whaling, and it only concerned one type: the scientific whaling. This case touched upon many legal aspects relating to the interpretation of the Convention on the Regulation of Whaling, as well as issues directly concerning scientific whaling, such as the standard of review and the use of experts. Cultural diversity of indigenous peoples is accommodated by quotas allocated the International Whaling Commission (aboriginal whaling). However, non-indigenous population in States, such as Norway; Iceland; and Japan claim a contentious right to whaling based on cultural diversity. Is there such a right? These are some of the questions to which there is no answer at present.

About the speaker

Malgosia Fitzmaurice holds a chair of public international law at the Department of Law, Queen Mary University of London. She specialises in international environmental law, treaties, indigenous peoples, whaling and Arctic law and has published widely on these subjects. Professor Fitzmaurice is currently one of the Queen Mary Investigators (with Professor Valsamis Mitsilegas as Principal Investigator) on a multinational interdisciplinary research project, European Union Action to Fight Environmental Crime (EFFACE), funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research. This 40-month project (2012-2016) aims to assess the impact of environmental crime and develop effective and feasible policy options for combating it at EU level. In 2001, she was invited to deliver keynote lectures on ‘International Protection of the Environment’ at the Hague Academy of International Law. She lectures widely in the United Kingdom, Europe (Sorbonne, Pantheon) and the United States (Berkley Law and New York University School of Law); Japan (University of Kobe) and participates in many international conferences. She is the Editor in Chief of the International Community Law Review, Brill Publishers, Martinus Nijhoff (first issue published in 2006) and Editor-in-Chief of a book series ‘Queen Mary Studies in International Law’ published by Martinus Nijhoff Publisher (Brill). She also advised on the legal issues of the law of treaties and environmental law