UK court to rule if Nigeria Shell claims can proceed

Lawyers for the claimants are demanding action from Shell to clean up spills that have devastated their communities for decades, but the multinational argues that the claims should be heard in Nigeria.

UK court to rule if Nigeria Shell claims can proceed

World Bulletin / News Desk

More than 40,000 Nigerians will on Thursday discover if London's High Court can rule on their pollution claims against Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell over spills in the Niger Delta.

The firm's lawyer Peter Goldsmith told judge Peter Fraser during a hearing in November that the cases concerned "fundamentally Nigerian issues", and shouldn't be heard in London.

However, Daniel Leader from legal firm Leigh Day, representing the claimants, responded that the spills had "blighted the lives of the thousands" in the Ogale and Bille communities.

He said they had "no choice" other than to seek legal redress in London.

Shell maintains that the claims are issues of Nigerian common law, customary law and legislation given that "the events are said to have occurred in Nigeria and the alleged physical damage is all said to be found in Nigeria".

Goldsmith also argued that the case involves its Nigerian subsidiary SPDC, which runs a joint venture with the Nigerian government.

He claimed that the case was aimed at establishing the High Court's jurisdiction over SPDC, opening the door for further claims.

A key issue in the claim will be whether Shell can be held responsible for failing to protect their pipelines from damage caused by third parties.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ocak 2017, 09:34