2015 hasn’t started off well for the people who attempted to shake down energy giant Chevron for billions of dollars. One court date after another has come and gone, with the “environmentalists” behind the scheme being either brought up on charges of their own or forced to relinquish any potential claims they hoped to cash in on via their fraudulent lawsuit. But Team Ecuador had one last card to play and they attempted it beginning last fall. They threw their case in the lap of the International Criminal Court, hoping that the global tribunal would take their side against “Big Oil” and toss them some cash.
This week, even that faint hope was shot down in flames.
The International Criminal Court this week rebuffed efforts to charge oil giant Chevron with violations of international law, dealing another setback to environmentalists engaged in a decades-long legal and political battle against the company.
In 2014, groups representing rainforest communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon asked the ICC to investigate Chevron for contamination associated with oil extraction by Texaco, which Chevron acquired in 2000, and Petroecuador, the country’s state-owned oil company.
“The Prosecutor has … determined that there is not a basis at this time to proceed” with an investigation into Chevron’s role in that contamination, the court said in a Monday letter obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
For those not familiar with the International Criminal Court, it carries a sketchy reputation and tends to take up some rather dubious causes. Most recently, the Palestinians were allowed to join despite not having an actual, er… country.
The court may have been originally organized with some potentially noble goals, but it quickly fell into disarray over issues of state sovereignty. In 1998 they managed to pass what became known as the Rome Treaty to establish their role in international affairs, but the agreement was rejected by an eclectic group of nations including China, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Qatar, the United States, and Yemen. When you lose some of the folks on that list you’re going to have a difficult row to hoe in life.
But, as noted above, even the ICC was unwilling to sign on to this plot. They gave a variety of procedural reasons, including the fact the original complaint predated their mandate. There were also concerns that the subject matter was outside of the “jurisdiction” of the court to begin with. But in the end, it’s hard to discount the idea that they simply didn’t want to be embarrassed by being associated with a scheme which has been so widely rejected in the courts of multiple nations.
Case dismissed. Better luck next time.