Shell's Victory and Embarrassment in the Dutch Court
In a historic decision, handed down on 30th January, the District Court in The Hague held Shell Nigeria liable for a case of serious oil pollution in Nigeria. The case was filed in 2008 by farmers and fishermen living in the Niger Delta who lost their livelihoods because of the oil spills. It is the first time a western court has ordered a multinational company to pay damages for environmental harm caused in a non-western country. This was possible because the claimants sued both Shell Nigeria and the Dutch based parent company Royal Dutch Shell, alleging they were jointly liable for the oil spills…In the end, the Court dismissed the claims against parent Royal Dutch Shell…Of the five claims against subsidiary Shell Nigeria, the Court rejected four.