Report on the NYU Forum on the Chevron/Ecuador Case

The Kluwer Arbitration Blog has an interesting report on the NYU forum on the Chevron/Ecuador case, which was held on October 24. Unfortunately, Letters Blogatory’s crack team of investigative journalists were on a coffee break, so I don’t have any original reporting to add to the Kluwer post.

Apparently, much of the forum focused on the flood of judicial assistance cases under 28 U.S.C. § 1782 in the Chevron/Ecuador case. To me, the most interesting point in the Kluwer summary is the notion that an amicus curiae could be an “interested person” for purposes of the statute who would have standing to seek judicial assistance even without any concrete stake in the foreign proceeding. I don’t have a transcript of the remarks on this point, but it strikes me as counterintuitive, and I will venture a guess that it is wrong. First, as a matter of statutory interpretation, isn’t a court likely to read the word “interested” to mean the opposite of “disinterested” rather than the opposite of “uninterested”? In other words, “interested” is probably best read to mean “being affected or involved” rather than “having the interest engaged”. Second, and relatedly, wouldn’t there be a constitutional problem of standing if an amicus curiae could invoke the judicial power of the United States to obtain judicial assistance concerning a foreign proceeding in which she had no stake?

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