Litigation in the Nigerian oil industry : a socio-legal analysis of the legal disputes between oil companies and village communities
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This thesis analyses legal disputes between village communities and oil companies in Nigeria. We have three principal aims. First, the thesis is an attempt to provide a detailed analysis of the nature of legal disputes between oil companies and village communities in Nigeria, particularly in the light of the rise in oil related litigation. Second, the study of litigation is meant to serve as a window to an understanding of social conflicts between village communities and oil companies. Third, the thesis is aimed at making a contribution to the research and the debate on the role of multinational companies in developing countries and on the day-to-day operations of African legal systems. The thesis is organised as follows. Section two analyses the political context of oil operations. Section three provides an introduction to the legal framework by discussing Nigeria's formal legal institutions and oil related statute law. An analysis of a survey of Nigerian lawyers in section four is aimed at evaluating the constraints and opportunities faced by potential and actual litigants in oil related litigation which can either encourage or discourage litigants from engaging in litigation. Focusing on issues such as oil spills and compensation payments for land acquisition, factual evidence from court cases in section five illustrates the adverse impact of oil exploration and production on village communities with a view to identifying the sources of conflict between oil companies and the local populace. A detailed analysis of litigation in section six reveals the principles of tort law upon which oil related cases are based, the legal defences employed by oil companies and legal innovations in oil related cases. Section seven concludes the thesis.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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