MOSCOW, April 12 - RAPSI. The International Court of Justice will hear Australia and New Zealand's lawsuit against Japan's whale hunting in the Antarctic in the summer, the court said on its website on Friday.

Australia lodged its complaint on May 31, 2010, claiming that the Japanese whale hunters' actions violated the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, which prohibits whale hunting for commercial purposes. Meanwhile, Japan claims its whaling is part of a scientific research program.

The hearings will take place from June 26 to July 16 in The Hague. Australia has asked the court to "revoke any permits, warrants or licenses" allowing Japan to kill the animals. Japan intends to defend its whale hunting, claiming that it's actions are legal.

The international convention has prohibited commercial whaling since 1986. In June 2010, Japan, Iceland and Denmark managed to obtain a lift of the moratorium on commercial whaling through the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society advocacy group has also been campaigning against Japan's whale hunting. The conservationists are known for their aggressive actions against Japanese whaling ships, who claim harassment on the seas.