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London High Court issues preliminary ruling in Nigerian oil spill lawsuit against Shell - both sides claim victory

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Article
24 June 2014

Case profile: Shell lawsuit (re oil spills & Bodo community in Nigeria)

Author: Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

[Business & Human Rights Resource Centre case profile on lawsuit filed in the UK against Shell over two oil spills that occurred in 2008 in the Niger Delta and affected the Bodo community.]

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Article
20 June 2014

London High Court rules that Shell Nigeria could be legally liable for bunkering

Author: Leigh Day

In a groundbreaking legal ruling, the London High Court today decided that Shell Nigeria could be legally liable for illegal bunkering of its pipelines, if it failed to take reasonable steps to protect its infrastructure. The judgment follows a ‘preliminary issues hearing’…which considered a range of complex legal arguments prior to a full trial in 2015. The central issue being argued was whether Shell should take reasonable steps to protect its infrastructure given the foreseeable risk of bunkering, illegal hacking into pipelines to steal the oil. This is the first time Shell has had to face formal Court proceedings in the UK for its environmental record in the Niger Delta.

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Article
20 June 2014

Nigeria: Shell could face fresh compensation claims after landmark environmental ruling

Author: Amnesty International

A landmark UK court ruling paves the way for Shell to finally be held accountable for devastating oil pollution in the Niger Delta, Amnesty International said today. “Today’s ruling is a shot across the bows for Shell” said Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International’s Director of Global Issues… In a judgment delivered by Mr Justice Akenhead, the London Technological and Construction Court found that short of providing policing or military defence of its pipelines, Shell was responsible for taking reasonable steps to protect them. This would include measures such as installing leak detection systems, surveillance equipment and anti-tamper equipment.

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Article
20 June 2014

Senior English judge delivers ruling in preliminary Bodo trial

Author: Shell Nigeria

The outcome of the Bodo preliminary issues trial has just been announced in London. A senior English judge ruled that the interpretation of Nigerian law by SPDC is correct in all the crucial points argued before the court. Mr Justice Akenhead accepted that the Nigerian Oil Pipelines Act provides a comprehensive and complete regime for compensation for oil spills. This decision limits the scope of the litigation to an assessment of actual damages sustained as a result of the operational spills. The Judge dismissed the attempts of the community’s UK legal representatives to add a range of additional claims over and above the compensation due under the clear Nigerian statutory regime.

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Article
20 June 2014

Shell in preliminary Nigeria oil spill judgement

Author: BBC News

Anglo-Dutch oil giant shell is braced to pay up to £30m in compensation after two oil spills in Nigeria. Residents of the Bodo community in the Niger Delta represented by law firm Leigh Day filed a suit in 2011. They lodged a claim for more than £300m in compensation for the spilling of 500,000 barrels of oil. Shell's offer from September 2013 to settle remained on the table, a source said. Leigh Day after the judgement said the High Court found Shell had a responsibility to shield and care for the pipeline…Shell said in a statement that the judgement "limits the scope of the litigation to an assessment of actual damages sustained as a result of the operational spills."

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