April 16, 2019
The Supreme Court of the Netherlands has ruled in favor of Chevron Corporation, 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 highest court in the Netherlands confirmed that Ecuador is required under international law to prevent enforcement of the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron anywhere in the world,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Chevron’s vice president and general counsel. “The Dutch Supreme Court joins the courts of the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Gibraltar in rejecting the Ecuadorian fraud against Chevron. Chevron urges Ecuador to honor its obligations under international law, comply with the lawful orders of The Hague tribunal and put an end to the fraud and extortion against Chevron.”
These failed efforts to enforce the Ecuadorian judgment were led by adjudicated racketeer and suspended lawyer Steven Donziger. In 2018, Donziger was suspended from practicing law in New York State and Washington, D.C. after having been found by U.S. federal courts to have engaged in a longstanding pattern of racketeering activity in procuring the Ecuadorian judgment, including multiple acts of fraud, bribery and judicial corruption.
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