On Friday 27 April, ECCJ, CORE and 45 other civil society organisations from all over the world called on the UK Supreme Court to allow 40,000 people from two Nigerian fishing communities to appeal against a ruling that oil giant Shell cannot be held responsible for pipeline spills that have devastated the environment in the Niger Delta.

The letter sent to the members of the Supreme Court on Friday refers to the decision adopted by the UK Court of Appeal last February concerning the case Okpabi vs Royal Dutch Shell. The ruling stated that the Anglo-Dutch parent company Royal Dutch Shell (RDS) was not responsible for pollution caused by its Nigerian subsidiary during decades of oil exploitation in the Niger Delta.

If this ruling is allowed to stand, thousands in the Niger Delta will be left without remedy and an important route for justice for those harmed by the overseas operations of UK-based multinationals would be severely restricted. 

The letter to the Supreme Court urges the Court justices to grant the application for permission to appeal and hear the case. 

Read the full letter and the complete list of signatories here.