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Singapore: High Court dismisses appeal against enforcement of US judgement in Curaçao Drydock case over forced labour

Author: Herbert Smith Freehills, PIL Notes , Published on: 5 June 2015

"Alien Tort litigation comes to Singapore: international enforcement of judgments based on corporate human rights abuse", 3 Jun 2015

In Alberto Justo Rodriguez Licea and others v Curacao Drydock Co, Inc, the Singapore High Court dismissed an appeal against the enforcement of a multi-million dollar judgment issued in the United States awarding damages to Cuban plaintiffs under the US Alien Tort Statute (ATS)... In October 2008, the US District Court...gave judgment in favour of the plaintiffs, who were awarded...compensatory...and...punitive damages...[I]n July 2013, the plaintiffs commenced enforcement proceedings...in Singapore...The punitive element was dropped...[T]he defendant sought to set aside the Singapore Judgment...[T]he Assistant Recorder...made clear that the forum non conveniens doctrine was an irrelevant consideration...[And] noted that the plaintiffs had not sought to enforce the order to pay punitive damages and that there was no authority to suggest that the entire US Judgment was tainted...[The] Assistant Recorder concluded that neither of the submissions raised triable issues that merited setting aside the Singapore Judgment...The defendant next applied to the Singapore High Court...The appeal was dismissed. In a brief judgment, the High Court agreed with the Assistant Recorder...

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Related companies: Curacao Drydock