Chevron Strikes Back Against Ecuador
I’ve only been vaguely aware of the ongoing battle between Chevron and Ecuador. Ecuador courts are currently entertaining an enormous lawsuit against Chevron, but Chevron has really taken the offensive by releasing videos suggesting that the Ecuadorian judge has been accepting bribes. And in its latest salvo, Chevron has filed an investor-state claim under the United States- Ecuador Bilateral Investment Treaty (I think it is 1993 but the WSJ says there is a 1997 one). In any event, it is a novel claim since it seeks to flip all liability for damages back to the government of Ecuador, and even seeks moral damages.
This could be a tremendous case, given its unusual facts. Offhand, it actually resembles Loewen, which challenged a domestic court proceeding (in the United States) as an effective expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment. It seems like a good move by Chevron, in any event, since it keeps Ecuador on the defensive.