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13 Okt 2017

Barbara Lewis, Reuters

Zambian villagers win right to sue Vedanta in English courts

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Nearly 2,000 Zambian villagers have won the right to sue Vedanta Resources in the English courts in a ruling that could lead to other multinationals being pursued in London for their activities overseas...

Vedanta said in a statement it would seek the right to appeal to the Supreme Court...adding the decision was on jurisdiction only and “was not a ruling or a determination on the merits of the claims”.

Three senior High Court judges dismissed an appeal by Vedanta and its Zambian subsidiary Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) against a ruling in May last year when a High Court judge decided the claim could proceed in the English courts...

The villagers allege that their land and livelihood have been destroyed by water pollution caused by the Nchanga Copper Mine, which is owned by Vedanta through its subsidiary KCM.

London law firm Leigh Day argued the English courts were the only route for the villagers...while Vedanta said Zambia was the appropriate jurisdiction...

Martyn Day, senior partner at Leigh Day, said the ruling was “a very important step forward in our clients’ fight for justice”...

Part of the following timelines

UK Court dismisses Vedanta Resources appeal & allows claim of villagers over water pollution in Zambia to proceed

Vedanta Resources lawsuit (re water contamination, Zambia)