Lago Agrio: Gibraltar and Other Updates
Posted on May 30, 2018
A few updates from the Lago Agrio case:
- The Supreme Court of Gibraltar has entered a default judgment against Pablo Fajardo, the Frente de Defensa de la Amazonia, and others, for approximately $38 million in damages. It also enjoins them from doing anything “in or from Gibraltar for the purpose of assisting or supporting” the LAPs or the enforcement of the Ecuadoran judgment. I noted previously the injunction entered against Amazonia, the entity set up to distribute the Lago Agrio judgment proceeds. Note, by the way, that in Gibraltar as in New York, the Supreme Court is a first-instance court.
- I haven’t seen a good report on this yet, but it seems from various tweets etc. that I’ve read that there was a recent hearing in Ecuador’s Constitutional Court. The purpose of the proceeding is not completely clear to me. Readers should recall my basic view on the Ecuadoran proceedings: Chevron made a good showing of corruption in the Lago Agrio court, but no such showing for the appellate courts or other courts. My own view, which the US courts have not accepted, is that without such a showing, it should be left to the Ecuadoran courts to decide whether a first-instance decision was infected by fraud. That is, when there is no evidence that the courts overall fail to provide due process, case-specific claims of fraud should not be a defense to recognition and enforcement. But just to be super-clear, this is a statement of what I think the law should be, not what it is; the law is actually to the contrary. In any case, if I can find out more about this proceeding I will report it.
- In New York, there is going to be an evidentiary hearing on Chevron’s motion to hold Steven Donziger in contempt, which I covered before. In addition, the judge has compelled Donziger to respond to discovery in connection with the $800,000 judgment against him for costs. This specifically includes a deposition.
- Finally, in Brazil, the STJ has denied the LAPs’ request to reconsider its decision denying recognition of the Ecuadoran judgment in Brazil. I don’t have a clear sense of the significance of this development, but if I learn more I will let you know.