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17 Apr 2020

Hsiao Po-wen and Elizabeth Hsu, Focus Taiwan

Taiwan: Vietnamese residents appeal Formosa Plastics pollution case to Supreme Court

"Groups again appeal for compensation in Vietnam pollution case," 17 April 2020

Local civil groups have decided to continue their pursuit of compensation on behalf of Vietnamese from a Taiwanese company…Members of the groups, including the Vietnamese migrant workers’ office of the Catholic Hsinchu Diocese…are appealing the case to the Supreme Court after the Taiwan High Court upheld the district court’s rejection of their case against the Formosa Plastics Group (FPG).

…A total of 7,875 Vietnam residents filed suit against FPG and its partner investors in the Taipei District Court in June 2019 for the harm caused by pollution from FPG’s steel mill in Ha Tinh in 2016. They were seeking NT$140.27 million.

…[The district court] ruled that under the Taiwan Code of Civil Procedures, Taiwanese courts do not have jurisdiction over the case as it involves Vietnamese nationals and occurred in Vietnam.

…On Friday, Chang Yu-yin (張譽尹), a lawyer representing the complainants…expressed the hope that the Supreme Court review the case based on the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights…[and] General Comment No. 24 on States’ obligations under the covenant.

Part of the following timelines

Vietnam: Fish deaths blamed on Formosa Plastics; Taiwan Court dismisses Vietnamese farmers' lawsuit over environmental damage

Formosa Plastics lawsuit (re marine pollution in Vietnam, filed in Taiwan)