It means that $9.5 billion Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron Corporation given by a local court in Lago Agrio, Ecuador in 2011 cannot be enforced against Chevron Canada Limited. In effect, Canadian Supreme Court has upheld the on May 23, 2018 order of the Ontario Court of Appeal that dismissed all claims against Chevron Canada Limited, holding that it is a separate entity from the parent Chevron Corporation with no obligation to the Ecuadorian justice system. Seven judges of the Supreme Court of Canada decided to accept jurisdiction to carry out an enforcement or “exequatur process” in Canada, upholding the legitimacy of the Ecuador Supreme Court´s decision on Chevron in 2015. This decision had brought strong hopes to the indigenous communities gathered in the Union of People Affected by Chevron – Texaco in Ecuador (UDAPT) that justice could be achieved.
Similar arguments has been advanced by Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), currently a subsidiary of Dow Chemicals Company in the Bhopal disaster case. The fact remains Court's accept such arguments in circumstances wherein it does not have the judicial will to pierce through the corporate veil. Subsidiaries of parent companies like Chevron Canada is not an autonomous and independent entity from the parent company Chevron.
In the face of a disaster of this magnitude, UDAPT has been fighting for over 25 years and currently its goal is to achieve the enforcement of the decision of the Ecuadorian Supreme Court, so that the environmental, social and cultural damage caused by the oil company is redressed.
The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada reveals the character of the legal architecture that protects the transnational corporations. Cases like those of UCC and Chevron case create a logical compulsion for the States to endorse the negotiations for an international binding treaty on transnational corporations and human rights which is consistent with the call for international solidarity with communities affected by Chevron and UCC.