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US Supreme Court grants permission to appeal to Nigerian Communities in their fight against Shell by Leigh Day July 25,2019   |  Source: Lexology

Lawyers representing 40,000 Nigerian farmers and fisherman from two communities in the Niger Delta, have been given permission to take their legal claim against the oil giant Shell to the UK Supreme Court.

The decision will allow the two communities from Bille and Ogale in the Niger Delta to appeal to the UK’s highest court, having suffered from decades of pollution from Shell’s pipelines.

They have taken their case to the English Courts on the basis that Royal Dutch Shell (RDS), which is headquartered in London, is legally responsible for the environmental failures of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), a subsidiary of RDS.

The Supreme Court hearing will appeal a judgment from February 2018, from the Court of Appeal in London, which upheld an earlier High Court judgment, that the English Court does not have jurisdiction over the claims.

The original High Court Judgment from January 2017 ruled that RDS was merely a holding company which did not exercise any control over its “wholly autonomous” Nigerian subsidiary, SPDC.

Lawyers from Leigh Day immediately appealed the decision from the Court of Appeal and although the Judges agreed that the High Court’s decision was flawed, by a majority the Court ruled that there was insufficient

 

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