The Supreme Court of Justice of Panama declares Law 406 on the mining contract unconstitutional - Expat Community

The Supreme Court of Justice of Panama declares Law 406 on the mining contract unconstitutional

Dec 1, 2023 | News & Articles, Panama | 0 comments

The Supreme Court of Panama announced its decision to declare Law 406, which renewed a contract with new terms and conditions for copper mining between the Panamanian state and the company Minera Panama, unconstitutional.


This is a company that exploits this metal in the Central American country and belongs to the Canadian company First Quantum.


Panama’s President, Laurentino Cortizo, expressed his opinion on his X account, formerly Twitter. “I receive and comply with the decision of the Supreme Court,” he posted.


The unconstitutionality lawsuit was filed before the Supreme Court of Justice by lawyer Juan Ramón Sevillano Callejas and goes against Article 1 of the law, a section that refers to the approval or disapproval in the National Assembly of Panama, in contracts in which the State is a party or has an interest, but whose celebration is not previously regulated, among other considerations, according to the official gazette with the law.


This contract generated protests and confrontations in various parts of Panama by citizens and organizations opposing the mining contract, arguing that the copper exploitation harms the country and causes environmental damage. Meanwhile, the mining company has stated its willingness to engage in dialogue and comply with Panamanian laws.


What the company said:


After learning of the ruling, the company First Quantum issued a statement to “express that it respects Panamanian laws and will review the content of the ruling to understand its foundations.”


“From our inception, we have operated consistently with transparency and strict adherence to Panamanian legislation,” the statement says.


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