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Chevron Looks to Arbitrators to Save It From $18B Pollution Payout

Publication Date: 
June 02, 2011
Source: 
The New York Times
Author: 
Lawrence Hurley

Professor Allen Weiner is quoted by Lawrence Hurley in this New York Times article on Chevron's battle against an $18 billion judgement over oil pollution in Ecuador and how the plantiffs may still be able to seek damages in courts worldwide.

The final battle in Chevron's high-profile war against an $18 billion judgment over oil pollution in Ecuador is likely to be fought behind closed doors in an ornate building in the Netherlands.

The Peace Palace -- a neo-Renaissance structure built in The Hague with the financial backing of industrialist Andrew Carnegie almost a century ago -- is home to the Permanent Court of Arbitration, whose specialty is resolving international legal disputes.

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But as Allen Weiner, who directs the international and comparative law program at Stanford Law School, pointed out, while the tribunal can require Ecuador to indemnify Chevron, it cannot stop the plaintiffs from seeking the damages in courts worldwide.

"There have been cases where people say there was a miscarriage of justice that violations treaty obligations," he added. "That's not to say Ecuador can stop plaintiffs enforcing the judgment."