Journal of Environmental Law and Policy

(ISSN 2564-016X; CODEN: JELPBQ; DOI: 10.33002) is an international, scientific double blind peer-reviewed open access journal published 3 times a year online by The Grassroots Institute.

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Journal of Environmental Law and Policy is an international, interdisciplinary journal that facilitates an understanding of environmental governance, policy and law issues not only by drawing upon and contributing to the environmental social sciences, but also linking the ecosystem health, natural resources, and social sciences. The aim of the journal is to promote communication among academia, government, business and industry, civil society groups, citizens’ action groups, and non-governmental organizations who are instrumental in the solving of environmental problems and grassroots level issues.


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M – 00313Analytical Article

Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria

Awodezi Henry

Faculty of Law, University of Delta, Agbor, Nigeria.

Email:; | ORCID:

*Corresponding author

(2022) 02 (03) Journal of Environmental Law and Policy 139-153

Accepted: 13 November 2022

No. of Abstract Views:

Published: 28 December 2022

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Environmental litigation and enforcement of environmental rights remain a global challenge to sustainability, especially in developing countries such as Nigeria. The increasing rates of industrial activities have led to increase in production of hazardous substances posing threat to lives of the inhabitants of the environment. Victims of environmental harm most times find it difficult to protect and enforce their environmental rights. Proving environmental harm such as damages to property in litigation to enforce rights of compensation or restoration for damages suffered becomes difficult due to locus standi technicalities and undue delays during trials. Sometimes victims are faced with financial constraint in pursuing the course of justice which involves retaining the services of a lawyer and expert witnesses. This paper, therefore, examines the prospects and challenges to proving environmental harm in litigation. This paper employs doctrinal legal research methodology and content analysis of both primary and secondary sources in relation to proving environmental harm in litigation. On this premise, this paper recommends the application of the principle of Res Ipsa Loquitur in trials of environmental cases. Proving environmental harm for the enforcement of environmental rights by victims, should be totally devoid of technicalities of law during trials. This will in turn promote the course of justice in cases dealing with environmental harm.

Keywords: Environmental harm; Challenges; Litigation; Compensation; Locus standi


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Awodezi Henry, ‘Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria’ (2022) 02 (03) Journal of Environmental Law & Policy 139-153

Harvard Style

Henry,A. (2022). Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02(03): 139-153. DOI:

APA Style

Henry, A. (2022). Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02(03), 139-153.

ACS Style

Henry A. Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 2022, 02(03), 139-153.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Henry,Awodezi. 2022.“Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria”. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02 no. 03: 139-153.

AAA Style

Henry,Awodezi. 2022.“Prospects and Challenges to Prove Environmental Harm in Litigation: Status Quo In Nigeria”. Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 02(03): 139-153.

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    Northern Institute for Environmental and Minority Law University of Lapland, Finland

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    Department of Environmental Law Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University, Ukraine

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    University of Benin, Nigeria

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    Centre for International Sustainable Development Law, Canada

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