Symposium: Whaling in the Antarctic

Proportionality and Margin of Appreciation in the Whaling Case: Reconciling Antithetical Doctrines?

Abstract

<it>In its decision on the</it> Whaling in the Antarctic <it>case, the International Court of Justice used a sophisticated methodology for assessing the legality of a whaling program allegedly designed to pursue purposes of scientific research. Based on the combination of two instruments – margin of appreciation and proportionality review – this methodology ultimately enabled the Court to reconcile apparently divergent needs: to grant a measure of discretion to states in determining their domestic policy requirements and to exert an international control over discretionary powers. From a theoretical viewpoint, this approach can have far-reaching implications and contribute to untie some still unresolved knots of the proportionality doctrine</it>.