Dutch Appellate Court’s Ruling Against SHELL Excites MOSOP.
MOVEMENT for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), has welcomed the recent ruling of a Dutch appellate court sitting in The Hague, Netherlands, which held that Shell Petroleum Development Company Nigeria Limited (SPDC), could be held liable for oil spills caused by facilities of the Nigerian subsidiary.
In an electronic mail made available to The Guardian in Port Harcourt, MOSOP expressed delight that Judge Hans van der Klooster, who presided over the matter, acquiesced that the “court has jurisdiction in the case brought against the Royal Dutch Shell and its subsidiary in Nigeria” and ordered that access to documents that could shed more light on the cause of the leaks be provided.
Signed by its President, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, the MOSOP explained that what the ruling means is that “the claimants in Nigeria especially the Niger Delta can sue Shell in the Netherlands for the effects of oil spills emanating from assets of the transnational oil corporation.”
“It as well means that an earlier decision by a lower Dutch court, which in 2013 ruled that Shell’s Dutch-based parent concern could not be held liable for spills at its Nigerian subsidiary, has been vacated,” he stated.
Pyagbara described the ruling as a victory for environmental justice, stating that it would compel parent companies of shell to take greater interest in the corporate conduct of their subsidiaries abroad, especially balancing respect for human and environmental rights of their hosts and business interests.