Courts in Argentina, Brazil, and Gibraltar reject fraudulent Ecuador judgment
The Dutch court’s ruling follows decisions from courts in Argentina, Brazil, Gibraltar, and the U.S. rejecting the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron. In Canada, Donziger’s team voluntarily dismissed their case with prejudice following a string of adverse decisions.
In July 2020, Argentina’s highest court unanimously rejected the plaintiffs’ bid to enforce the corrupt judgment, bringing to an end the last pending recognition proceeding against Chevron.
Even Ecuador has finally admitted in a public filing earlier this year that the $9.5 billion judgment issued by its courts against Chevron is “fraudulent.” Chevron’s arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador is now in its final stage, where the company is seeking to recover from the Republic of Ecuador costs it has incurred to expose and defend against the fraud.
In Canada, in November 2017 the Ontario Court of Appeals dismissed the attempts by Donziger’s team to enforce the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment in Canada. This decision affirmed a January 2017 ruling of the trial court that dismissed all claims against Chevron Canada, finding that Chevron Canada is an entity separate from Chevron Corporation and that its shares and assets could not be used to satisfy a judgment against Chevron Corporation. On July 5, 2019, after the Supreme Court of Canada denied the request by Donziger’s team to appeal the decision, Donziger’s team consented to an order dismissing the recognition and enforcement action with prejudice, and awarding costs in favor of Chevron.
Brazil’s highest court, in November 2017, unanimously rejected on jurisdictional grounds Donziger’s team’s attempts to enforce the corrupt Ecuadorian judgment. The Court found that Chevron Corporation is a foreign corporation with no assets or points of connection with Brazil and that the Ecuadorian judgment could not be enforced against Chevron’s indirect subsidiary in Brazil because the subsidiary is a separate and distinct legal entity. This followed a May 2015 opinion issued by Brazil’s MPF (Attorney General’s office) that recommended that the Ecuadorian Judgment be denied recognition in Brazil. The Attorney General’s Office concluded that “the recognition of the foreign sentence is not viable, which, as everything seems to indicate, was issued in an irregular manner, especially under deplorable acts of corruption that represent an offense against the international public order and even to good morals, in total disrespect for what is established in” Brazilian law.