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Journal of Sustainable Development Law and Policy (The)

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The search for environmental justice in the Niger Delta and corporate accountability for Torts: How Kiobel added salt to injury

RA Mmadu

Abstract


Right from the beginning Man has been given the privilege by his Creator to tender the earth and take dominion over his environment. But for the impoverished people of the Niger Delta region, the mainstay of Nigeria’s oil wealth, the situation is ironically abysmal. The region has been the scene of protest, sometimes violence, against the repressive tendencies of the Nigerian state and against the recklessness, exploitative and environmentally unfriendly activities of oil multinationals. The issues of environmental injustice and human rights violations are the central focus of this article. The article examines the concept of corporate accountability for tortuous acts and faults Kiobel as a miscarriage of justice against a people so callously and criminally oppressed. Kiobel’s pronouncement that corporations cannot be held liable for egregious abuses under international law is a sad note on global war against environmental injustice. The paper warns that Kiobel could foster situations in which corporations become immune from liability for human rights violations. The war against environmental degradation is too important to be clogged in web of legal technicalities else man would have no environment to live in.

Keywords: Environmental Justice, Niger Delta, Corporate Accountability, Torts, kiobel




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