Zambian villagers get court’s nod to sue Vedanta

A group of over 1,800 Zambian citizens can take Vedanta Resources and its Zambian subsidiary, Konkola Copper Mines (KCM, to court in the U.K. over allegations relating to the pollution of a river there, after Britain’s Supreme Court rejected an attempt by the company to challenge the jurisdiction of British courts.

They will now be able to bring their claims for torts of negligence and breach of duty to the courts in the U.K., first initiated in 2015.

Wider significance

The Supreme Court judgment is seen as having wider significance for parent companies and their ability to be held liable for alleged activity abroad.

Vedanta Resources cannot appeal the jurisdiction judgment any further as its attempt to suggest recourse to the European Court of Justice during the Supreme Court proceedings was also rejected. The judgment was read in court by Lord Briggs, with the four other justices considering the case, concurring with him.

“For the claimants, it is hugely significant. They can proceed with the substantive claim, which was their initial intention, and hopefully obtain some sort of justice for the allegations they have made,” Oliver Holland, from the law firm Leigh Day, who is representing the claimants, told