Shell, the London High Court – incompetent to deal with a case of pollution in Nigeria caused by a British subsidiary company
The High Court considers that tens of thousands of Nigerians affected by oil pollution cannot introduce court proceedings in the United Kingdom against Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary operator
The claimants had hoped that this case would set a “precedent” on jurisdiction, paving the way for other cases to be brought against British corporations operating polluting facilities abroad.
According to the representatives of Ogale communities, it is indeed unrealistic to obtain in Nigeria a legal decision condemning Shell to clean up, for as long as the financial resources of the country and justice, consequently, depend on the oil fields operations.
In its recitals, the judge concludes: “there is simply no connection whatsoever between this jurisdiction and the claims brought by the claimants, who are Nigerian citizens, for breaches of statutory duty and/or in common law for acts and omissions in Nigeria, by a Nigeria company.”
Photo: Ian Burt - CC by 2.0