The District Court of The Hague ruled in favor of Chevron in its dispute with Ecuador, upholding a 2018 arbitral award rendered by an international tribunal administered by the Permanent Court of Arbitration.
The international arbitral tribunal found that a $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron was procured through egregious fraud and corruption by the plaintiffs’ legal team, including bribery of the presiding judge and ghostwriting of the judgment.
The tribunal also rejected the underlying environmental allegations against Chevron.
The tribunal found that a Chevron subsidiary completed an environmental remediation program supervised and approved by the government of Ecuador and that the Ecuador released the environmental claims on which the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment was based. Any responsibility for current environmental conditions in Ecuador lies with the state-owned oil company, which continues to operate in the same area today.
The District Court of The Hague upheld the award in full and rejected Ecuador’s attempt to set it aside, noting that “the fraudulent character of the Lago Agrio judgement and the proceedings preceding it is common ground between the parties.”
The court’s ruling follows decisions from courts in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Gibraltar and the U.S. rejecting the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron.
In July, 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.
The company said that Ecuador finally admitted in a public filing earlier this year that the $9.5 billion judgment issued by its courts against Chevron is “fraudulent.”
Chevron noted that its arbitration against the Republic of Ecuador is now in its final stage. The company is seeking to recover from the Republic of Ecuador costs it has incurred to expose and defend against the fraud.