Council of Europe Summit creates Register of Damage for Ukraine as a first step towards an international compensation mechanism for victims of Russian aggression 

On 17 May 2023, at the Council of Europe Summit in Reykjavik, Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Prime Minister of Iceland, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Thórdís Kolbrún Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iceland and President of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, Denys Shmyhal, Prime Minister of Ukraine, and Denis Malyuska, Minister of Justice of Ukraine, have announced the establishment of the Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation Against Ukraine through an Enlarged Partial Agreement.

The Register's Board holds its inaugural meeting, 15 December, The Hague

At its inaugural meeting in The Hague (11-15 December), the Board of the Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine (RD4U) elected its Chair and Vice-Chair, adopted its Rules of Procedure and discussed as a matter of urgency the categories of claims that will be eligible for submission to the Register. 

The Board elected Robert Spano, Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and former President of the European Court of Human Rights, as its Chair, and Dr Chiara Giorgetti, Professor at Richmond Law School, as Vice-Chair.

The Conference of Participants of the Register of Damage for Ukraine has elected its Board, 16 November, Strasbourg

The Conference of Participants of the Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine came together for its 3rd meeting on 16 November and elected the seven members of the Register’s Board. Of the 18 candidates (9 men and 9 women) from four different continents, Yulia Kyrpa (Ukraine), Norbert Wühler (Germany), Chiara Giorgetti (Italy), Robert Spano (Iceland), Veijo Heiskanen (Finland), Lucy Reed (United States) and Aleksandra Mężykowska (Poland) were elected for a three-year term (renewable once).

The Board is one of the principal bodies of the Register and is crucial for its functioning. It will propose the rules and regulations governing the work of the Register and is ultimately responsible for recording eligible claims in the Register. The Board will have its first meeting in The Hague (the Netherlands) in December.

The Conference of Participants in the Register of Damage for Ukraine has held its second meeting, 12 September, Riga

Representatives from more than 40 countries gathered in Riga for the second meeting of the Conference of Participants of the Register of Damage caused by the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine.

The Register will serve as a record of evidence and claims for damage, loss or injury caused to all natural and legal persons concerned, as well as to the State of Ukraine, by Russia’s internationally wrongful acts in or against Ukraine.

Since the first meeting of the Conference of Participants in June, a Host State Agreement with the Netherlands as the seat of the Register in The Hague was signed and has come into force.

Conference of Ministers of Justice, 11 September 2023, Riga

The ministers of Justice of Council of Europe member and observer states have adopted a declaration outlining a series of principles (“Riga principles”) to achieve comprehensive accountability for the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine and provide redress to all victims of the war, including through the focused and efficient functioning of the Register of Damage caused by the aggression. 

These principles underline that the Register of Damage for Ukraine should have a victim-centred approach to provide remedies in particular for the most vulnerable, such as women and children. They also stress the importance of providing assistance to national authorities to facilitate the coordination of domestic efforts to support the Register’s functioning and of meaningfully consulting civil society and non-governmental organisations, including human rights defenders, as well as victims and victim rights organisations.

Constitutive meeting of the Conference of Participants in the Register of Damage for Ukraine, 27 June 2023, Strasbourg

The Conference of Participants of the Register of Damage caused by the Russian Federation’s aggression against Ukraine held its constitutive meeting, bringing together the representatives of more than 40 countries.

The Register will serve as a record of evidence and claims for damage, loss or injury caused to all natural and legal persons concerned, as well as the State of Ukraine by Russia’s internationally wrongful acts in or against Ukraine. It is a first step towards an international compensation mechanism for victims of this aggression.

The conference elected the Permanent Representative of the United Kingdom Sandy Moss as Chair, the Permanent Representative of the Netherlands Tanja Gonggrijp and Emil Ruffer, Director of the Interrnational Law Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic, as Vice-Chairs.

Exchange of views on national redress mechanisms for damage caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, 19 June, Strasbourg

Meetings between the Council of Europe, international organisations and Ukrainian authorities on domestic redress mechanisms for damage caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, were held in Strasbourg in a hybrid format on 19 June 2023.

These meetings aimed at clarifying categories and definitions of damages and victims, mapping of the national legal and policy framework on war-affected people rights and compensation for damage in Ukraine, identifying potential gaps and challenges in order to facilitate the upcoming work of the Register of damage caused by the aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine and other planned actions in this area.

Reference documents

Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe

Other international organisations

Resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly (UNGA)