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Ecuador: Dutch Supreme Court rules for Chevron in Ecuador dispute
16 Apr 2019
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled in favour of Chevron, rejecting the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul decisions of an international arbitral tribunal in The Hague that ordered Ecuador to take all steps necessary to prevent enforcement of a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world. The Ecuadorian judgment previously was found by the international arbitral tribunal and by U.S. courts to have been obtained through fraud, bribery and corruption.
The arbitral tribunal, administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, issued interim and partial awards in favor of Chevron in 2012 and 2013 in proceedings brought by Chevron to hold the Republic of Ecuador accountable for the fraudulent and corrupt litigation against the company in that country. The arbitral awards ordered the Republic of Ecuador “to take all measures necessary to suspend or cause to be suspended the enforcement and recognition within and without Ecuador” of the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. The decision by the Supreme Court of the Netherlands upholds the rulings of two Dutch lower courts that rejected the Republic of Ecuador’s attempts to annul those awards.
The decision of the Supreme Court of the Netherlands follows on the footsteps of last week’s decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in favor of Chevron’s indirect Canadian subsidiary. On April 4, 2019 the Supreme Court of Canada rejected a request to review a decision of the Court of Appeal for Ontario holding that the $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation cannot be enforced against Chevron Canada Limited, an indirect subsidiary in Canada. As a result, all claims brought by the Ecuadorian plaintiffs against Chevron Canada Limited were dismissed and its shares and assets cannot be seized by those seeking to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment.