Both Defendant and Partner for Climate Change? Fighting Royal Dutch Shell in Civil Court

Niké Wentholt & Luna Bonvie. In May 2021, the Dutch district court in The Hague came to a long-awaited conclusion in a so-called ‘climate case’, deciding in favour of a group of Dutch plaintiffs and ordering oil-corporation Royal Dutch Shell to reduce its CO2 emissions by net 45% within 10 years. Although the ruling is globally considered as a legal victory in the battle against climate change, its importance can best be understood from a broader perspective. Niké Wentholt and Luna Bonvie wrote a blogpost about the meaning of the judgement from a social-legal angle. The post is published on […]

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Truth be told. Listening for stories in the courtroom

Obiozo Ukpabi. In October 2020, a remarkable case was heard in a civil court of Higher Appeal in The Hague. Four Nigerian farmers and fishers[1], who together with Dutch NGO Milieudefensie filed a lawsuit to hold Royal Dutch Shell accountable for massive environmental pollution caused by oil spills in their villages in the Niger Delta, got their day in court. Due to the corona-pandemic restrictions, they could only be present via videolink. After twelve years of litigation, it is hard to imagine how they must be feeling in anticipation of the Judge’s ruling which is scheduled for 29 January. An […]

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