EBHR has written a report on the potential liabilities of the parent company in the Shell Group, as well as that of its Nigerian subsidiary, for oil spills in the
Niger Delta. The report, Corporate Liability in a New Setting: Shell and the Changing Legal
Landscape for the Multinational Oil Industry in the Niger Delta, places emphasis on changes in Nigerian legal standards, as well as developments in the UK concerning
parent company liability, both of which increase the prospects for successful litigation in jurisdictions outside Nigeria as well as domestically.
One of the report’s objectives is to provide Shell investors with the necessary information as well as samples of detailed questions that they could direct to their
company in order to acquire more information on the Niger Delta situation. The Niger Delta Report was successfully published on 10 December 2012. It is accessible on
Australia – UK
Non-judicial remedies for human rights abuses by business: EBHR is part of a three-year research project analysing non-judicial dispute settlement mechanisms for human
rights abuses by businesses, particularly those operating outside of their home countries. The Project is being conducted in partnership with Melbourne and Monash
Universities in Australia, the University of Newcastle, the UK’s Corporate Responsibility Coalition (CORE) and several leading NGOs including Oxfam Australia, ActionAid and
the Federation of Homeworkers Worldwide. EBHR’s contribution will be integral to formulating a recommendation for a UK Commission on Business and Human Rights.
The team has constructed a database of the various forms of non-judicial redress mechanisms, as well as the regulatory mapping of UK business and human rights-related
legislation, parliamentary and government bodies to serve as a basis for institutional design and operation. EBHR is currently conducting background research into the
impact of non-judicial remedies with a view to producing an academic research paper.
In collaboration with the Rio de Janeiro Prosecutor’s Office and the Federal University of Juiz de Fora, EBHR is providing the Prosecutor’s Office with legal
analysis regarding the potential liabilities that certain foreign domiciled companies would incur as a result of the latter’s activities in the construction and
operation of projects which have an impact on the local populations and environment in the Rio de Janeiro area.
In this collaboration, EBHR has also been involved in providing training to the Prosecutor’s Office and to the University Juiz de For a in the field of business and
As an increasing number of mining companies are currently prospecting or doing business in Senegal, Amnesty International Netherlands has commissioned EBHR to
produce a report on whether the internal legal framework is adequate to ensure human rights, social and environmental protection in light of international standards,
in particular the ECOWAS Mining Directive.
The legal analysis considers a number of aspects including land rights, health and safety, right to water, environmental issues, gender, as well as the judicial
and non-judicial remedies available to local communities affected by notably industrial mining activities. The initial desk-based research was followed by fieldwork
investigation in Senegal.
EBHR has been asked by Global Witness, UK to assess the qualities of the proposed Minerals Law of Afghanistan, drafted by the Ministry of Mines but rejected by
Cabinet in July 2012.
The analysis, after critically reviewing the rejected draft, is focused on improved techniques for transparency, human rights protection and effective remedy
that new legislation could embody. The overall aim of the project is helping the government of Afghanistan draft a new bill that takes in due consideration,
alongside mining companies’ and State’s interests, of the human and environmental rights of local populations.