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Title: Oil dependence and access to environmental justice in Nigeria : the case of oil pollution
Author: Lipschutz, Kari
ISNI:       0000 0004 7656 1189
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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For the past sixty years, Nigeria has failed to control oil-related pollution. Chronic oil spills and devastation of fragile ecosystems have forced inhabitants to live in a toxic environment, fuelling grievances and conflict. This dissertation studies the effectiveness of Nigeria's legal system to provide access to environmental justice (A2EJ) for victims of oil pollution in the Niger Delta. The thesis shows that despite Nigeria's extended period of democratic rule, A2EJ remains constrained by historical factors, such as economic motivations of past regimes when developing legislation and governance practices. A2EJ also remains constrained by modern political and economic factors, such as the negative impact of the scale of the oil sector on governance institutions, both in effectively carrying out regulatory remits and in making impartial decisions in the courts. Some positive developments in A2EJ are identified in Nigerian oil pollution-related jurisprudence, but these are overshadowed by procedural and jurisdictional constraints facing the majority of potential and actual litigants, as evidenced in case law and in survey findings. This research contributes to the A2EJ literature by developing a theoretical framework for assessing A2EJ in resource-dependent contexts. Using a socio-legal methodology, the case study applies new data to the interrogation of A2EJ in Nigeria's oil sector. In order to study legal gateways to environmental justice, this research focuses on, first, the status quo of oil sector governance in practice, second, the legislative and regulatory framework underpinning it, and finally, domestic and transnational litigation involving pollution disputes between oil companies and communities. The dissertation draws on three original datasets collected during fieldwork in Nigeria in 2014: the results of a survey of twenty-seven Nigerian legal practitioners, a case law dataset of forty-seven oil companycommunity disputes over oil pollution, and twenty-one key informant interviews.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral