Home Project-material LOCUS STANDI: AN OBSTACLE TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA

LOCUS STANDI: AN OBSTACLE TO ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE IN NIGERIA

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Abstract

Environmental Justice is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. . Locus standi is the existence of a right of an individual or group of individuals to bring an action before a court of law for adjudication. In Nigeria, the most important source of foreign exchange earnings is from crude oil. Hence, oil was discovered in the Niger Delta region of the country in commercial quantities in 1956, there have been increased activities in the oil sector in terms of exploration, exploitation, refining, export and domestic distribution. It have generated immerse financial benefits for the country, but have also created serious health and environmental problems, it becomes clears that the common law remedies were not easily available to the victims of the pollution. This worked injustice on the victims. It t

CHAPTER ONE

GENERAL INTRODUCTION

 

1.0.0: Background

This project is basically directed towards evaluating environmental justice especially in Nigeria. The reason for venturing into this topic is based on personal interest in the concept ‘environmental justice and the desire to shed more light on it by analyzing it with the issue of ‘locus standi

1.1.0: Statement of the Problem

By the present state of the law in Nigeria and in other jurisdiction, the determination of locus standi zeros on two major and telling words, one is ‘sufficient’ and the other is ‘interest’. They both make up the ‘sufficient interest’ concept. This term is broad and generic. It is also vague and nebulous. It lacks a precise and apt legal meaning.

Here in Nigeria, the problem of locus standi is compounded by the fact that the common law concept where the right to sue accrues only to a person who has a legal right or whose legal right has been adversely affected or who has suffered or is likely to suffer special damage in consequence of an alleged wrong has been reinforced by the Constitutional provisions of Section 6 of the 1979 Constitution.

The problems associated with the courts’ attitudes to locus standi arise out of the difficult balancing exercise which has to be undertaken. On the one hand the courts have been keen to ensure that public bodies can perform their duties without harassment from vexatious litigants and that the public purse is not put under excessive strain and the courts flooded with judicial review litigation. On the other hand, the actions of public bodies should be

reviewable by the courts in accordance with Dicey’s rule of law and if the rules of locus standi are drawn too narrowly, there will be gaps in the court’s capability of ensuring that those with power do not abuse it and act contrary to the public interest.

The courts are thus keen to maintain flexibility but this has led to a stream of confusing and inconsistent decisions.

These problems associated with the application of locus standi always result in the miscarriage of justice and they make prospective litigants to lose confidence in the court.



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