Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s attorneys will be in a Seattle courtroom on December 15, arguing several pending motions related to the ongoing litigation with the Japanese whalers. U.S. District Judge James Robart has requested argument on Sea Shepherd’s motion to dismiss all the claims brought by the Japanese whalers and on the whalers’ motion to dismiss the counterclaims brought by Sea Shepherd.

Judge Robart’s decision on these issues will have a significant impact on the shape of the litigation moving forward. His written opinion, which will likely be issued in the weeks following oral argument, will determine whether the whalers will be able to move forward in their effort to obtain a permanent injunction against Sea Shepherd to prevent it from interfering with their annual whale hunts in the Southern Ocean. It will also determine whether Sea Shepherd can move to trial on its claim that the whalers are violating international law by continuing to kill whales in an internationally recognized whale sanctuary, and its request that the court should order that the practice be permanently halted.

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