UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Plugging the drain : promoting environmental justice in the Niger Delta through judicial independence Itamunoala, Sarah Tamunonengioforie


This thesis highlights the multiple forms of injustice that are experienced in the Niger Delta using the concept of environmental justice. It discusses prominent cases such as Gbemre v. Shell and Bodo v. Shell and identifies judicial independence as a crucial component of attaining justice for Niger Deltans. Using the branches of environmental justice, it explains the risks and harms that have occurred within this region and the kinds of remedies that are required for an improvement. In particular, it reveals disproportionate arrangements in the shares of benefits and burdens of the environmental resources in the country and highlights several social and political arrangements which promote these disparities. The thesis further highlights the need for a remedy and the reasons why these remedies have been far-fetched and this leads to the discussion about the best ways to achieve these remedies. In considering the best ways forward from the environmental injustice, this thesis discusses the topic of judicial independence, which it highlights as a crucial factor for the attainment of environmental justice. It views this as a plug to a drain, which ensures that the good efforts which are made towards the attainment of environmental justice, in the form of reformed laws and better processes amongst others, do not go to waste. Conversely, it argues that the lack of judicial independence undoes any good efforts and frustrates the attempts of the Niger Deltans to attain environmental justice. An independent, impartial and competent court is therefore shown to be an essential requirement, if environmental justice is to be achieved and sustained in the Niger Delta.

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