The company Electroquimica Pesada S.A. was causing harm to its employees as well as Nicaraguan residents by operating with outdated equipment which led to the release of chlorine and other hazardous gases. A number of orders were issued by the Nicaraguan state institutions directing the company to shut down its operations.
The company filed an application for a writ requesting the protection of its fundamental right to continue its operations based among others on Articles 80, 32, 46, 57 and 104 of the Constitution of Nicaragua. The claimant’s main argument was that they were denied the right to work.
The Court held that none of these Articles were violated. It argued that Article 80 (right to work and duty to work) only protects the individual or collective person, but not a corporation and that moreover, the order did not stop the company from continuing its operations within safety regulations and with improved equipment that does not cause hazardous pollution.
Concerning Article 32 (principle of no punishment without law), the argument that the company was forced to fulfil a resolution that law did not require was dismissed because the ministers of the state who issued the order had the legal power to do so.
The company’s claim that Article 46 was violated due to a failure to promote human rights, particularly the right to defence, was also dismissed, because the claimant failed to state what the violation consisted of and why it had been caused.
Concerning the alleged violation of Article 57 (right to work) the court held that shutting down the company did not violate the workers’ right to work seeing as they still had the possibility to work elsewhere.
Lastly, the Court found that there was no violation of Article 104 (right to establish a business), because there was no lack of equal treatment by the State. Ultimately, the Court dismissed the company’s claims.