Royal Dutch Shell Plc  .com Rotating Header Image

Shell in Hot Water: UK High Court Greenlights Nigerian Fishermen’s Rights Case

The judge even called the pollution in the Niger Delta “catastrophically environmentally damaging”.

Posted By John Donovan: 23 November 2023

In a twist that’s sure to have Shell squirming, the UK High Court just ruled that Nigerian fishermen can indeed bring their human rights claims against Shell PLC to court. They’re accusing Shell of violating their right to a clean environment under Nigerian constitutional law. Yep, it’s getting real.

13,000 Fishermen Casting Their Net for Justice

The court’s decision means 13,000 fishermen from the Ogale and Bille communities in the Niger Delta are gearing up to sue. Leigh Day, their legal squad, is all set to go to bat for them.

Leigh Day’s statement last Thursday was clear: the environmental damage from oil pollution in the region is extensive. The judge even called the pollution in the Niger Delta “catastrophically environmentally damaging”.

Matthew Renshaw from Leigh Day is pumped up, saying it’s a big moment in their eight-year tussle to make Shell own up to the oil mess that’s wrecked the land.

Shell’s Side of the Story

But Shell’s playing defense. They’re arguing that the plaintiffs haven’t really nailed down the specific oil spills causing their woes. Plus, they’re pointing fingers at oil theft and criminality in the Niger Delta as the big bad pollution villains.

Shell’s stance? “Oil is being stolen on an industrial scale in the Niger Delta, and this is the major pollution source in the Bille and Ogale claims.”

Contrast with Previous Court Decisions

This High Court ruling stands in stark contrast to a UK Supreme Court decision earlier this year that booted claims against Shell over the massive 2011 Bonga oil spill, which let loose 40,000 barrels of crude oil.

Back then, nearly 28,000 Nigerian plaintiffs called the spill an “environmental catastrophe” and wanted Shell to pay up for the huge damages and losses. But no dice.

Closing Thoughts

So, it looks like Shell’s legal battles are far from over, as Nigerian fishermen are casting a wide net in their quest for environmental justice. Stay tuned as this drama unfolds in the courts!

Disclaimer: The info here is based on current news. Shell, often in the spotlight for its controversial environmental impact, and other named parties can flag any inaccuracies for a swift fix. We’re committed to accurate, reliable, and bold reporting on the actions of this infamous oil giant.

This website and sisters,,,, and, are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia segment.

Comments are closed.

Comment Rules

  • Please show respect to the opinions of others no matter how seemingly far-fetched.
  • Abusive, foul language, and/or divisive comments may be deleted without notice.
  • Each blog member is allowed limited comments, as displayed above the comment box.
  • Comments must be limited to the number of words displayed above the comment box.
  • Please limit one comment after any comment posted per post.