EarthRights filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief before the Taiwan Supreme Court in support of an appeal by various Taiwanese environmental organizations requesting that Taiwan find jurisdiction over the Taiwanese corporations that make up the Formosa Plastics Group in relation to a toxic waste spill in Ha Tinh, Vietnam.

The amicus brief outlined fundamentals of general jurisdiction drawing on our experience litigating similar transnational tort cases against multinational corporations in U.S. courts to show that it is standard practice to find jurisdiction in such cases and thus is unlikely to violate any international norms of jurisdiction. We also outlined the steps taken by U.S. courts when looking at forum non conveniens, a doctrine predominantly developed in the United States to determine whether the U.S. or a foreign country is the more convenient forum to hear the case, to help inform the Taiwanese court when it considers the possibility of Vietnam as an alternative forum.

We filed the amicus brief in support of the case in Taiwan to try and help ensure accountability for the toxic waste spill caused by the Formosa Ha Tinh steel plant in Vietnam, which poisoned over 100 tons of marine wildlife, causing widespread illnesses and loss of livelihoods for hundreds of thousands of local Vietnamese fisherpeople.