Environmental Law

Self-confessed poachers acquitted after prosecution’s mistake

Two Tanzanian poachers, who admitted they shot two animals in a national park, have been acquitted and set free on a second appeal. The country’s chief justice and two other appeal court judges found the prosecution had made crucial mistakes in the trial of the two men. The poachers had initially pleaded guilty to tracking and killing an impala and a kudu in the Ruaha National Park.

“Ogoni 9” case back in the spotlight, this time in the Netherlands

The families of nine environment and human rights activists executed by the Nigerian government in 1995, have their hopes for justice pinned on a court in the Netherlands, where a preliminary round was argued this week.

The fight for justice for the “Ogoni 9” moved to the Hague this week where representatives of nine men, executed by Nigeria’s military government in 1995, argued that this was an appropriate forum to deal with their case and gave evidence of the trauma of the men's secret trial and execution.

The families want to sue Royal Dutch/Shell in the Netherlands and claim that the petroleum giant gave help to the Nigerian troops at the time. They say that Shell played a significant role in the “unlawful arrest, detention and execution” of their husbands.

Villagers' water pollution case should be heard in UK not Zambia, court hears

A major case on the environmental and human rights of villagers in Zambia was heard in the English courts over two days this week. The appeal concerns the question of where villagers, suing over the pollution of their water via mining action, may bring their dispute. They want the case heard in the UK while Vedanta, the parent company they are targeting, says the “natural forum” for the matter would be Zambia.

FOR almost 2000 villagers in Zambia’s Chingola region, this was a crucial week. A two-day hearing in the English courts could see them finally able to act against the mining outfit they claim has, since 2005, polluted their water and damaged their health, their lands and any prospect of earning a living.

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