ACCA and AFRILAW joint Statement - UK Court of Appeal Rules Royal Dutch Shell Not Liable for Nigeria Oil Spills
Released on 23 February 2018
Download the joint statement here.
The African Coalition for Corporate Accountability (ACCA) and African Law Foundation (AFRILAW), Nigeria express deep concern over the ruling handed down by the Court of Appeal in which the London-based Royal Dutch Shell was not responsible for oil pollution in the Niger Delta by its Nigerian subsidiary.
We commend the bravery of the adversely affected communities in the Niger Delta to seek permission to take the case to the Supreme Court. The Ogale and Bille communities’ have shown their tenacity in seeking access to remedy, and highlights the challenges of affected African communities in seeking remedy after losing their livelihoods resulting from environmental degradations through the activities of corporations. Such bravery demonstrates the extent to which communities’ voices can play an active role in ensuring corporate accountability on the African continent.
We agree that one of the fundamental principles of the international human rights system is that when a right is violated, victims must have access to an effective remedy. Victims of corporate-related human rights abuses in Africa should have access to judicial or non-judicial remedies for the harm they suffered. Therefore, the right to effective remedy for Ogale and Bille communities in Nigeria must be respected by the Royal Dutch Shell and SPDC and protected particularly by the UK courts.
We call upon African governments and companies to effectively monitor the activities of transnational corporations before, during and after operations, and ensure that an effective a clean-up of the affected areas take place by companies operating in African countries.
We call upon the parent company operating in Africa continent to work together with communities to respect Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) before, during and after their operations, and ensure that remedy is provided for the adversely affected communities.
We also call on African governments to exercise direction and control over the parent company’s activities to avert the loss of livelihoods of affected communities and systematic pollution resulting from the activities of the corporations.