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23 Feb 2012

Michael D. Goldhaber, Am Law Daily [USA]

The Global Lawyer: Treaty Arbitration Clashes with Human Rights (or at least with Ecuador's Courts)

On February 16, Chevron Corporation won an arbitral award neutralizing the $18 billion Ecuadorian judgment now on appeal in that country-only to have an Ecuadorian court defy the arbitrators the next day...However...the intermediate Ecuadorian appellate...court rejected the arbitrators' order as offensive to Ecuador's Constitution as well as to the Inter-American Convention on Human Rights. "A simple arbitration award, although it may bind Ecuador, cannot obligate Ecuador's judges to violate the human rights of our citizens," wrote the court...[T]he Ecuadorian court wrote that because Chevron did not ask to post an appeal bond, it had failed to take advantage of the only mechanism for suspending execution of a judgment...More fundamentally, Chevron denies the premise that it or the arbitration process has violated anyone's human rights, whether under domestic or international law.