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Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation Against Ukraine
22 February 2024 13:35

What is the Register of Damage? The Register of Damage (also referred to as “Register of Damage for Ukraine”) will serve as a record, in documentary form, of claims and evidence on damage, loss or injury caused by the Russian Federation’s internationally illegal acts in or against Ukraine. The Register will receive claims from individuals, businesses and state and municipal entities in Ukraine about damage, loss or injury that they have suffered because of the Russian aggression in Ukraine, with the aim of creating a factual and evidential basis on which Ukraine and Ukrainians will seek reparations for Russia’s violations of international law.

How and why was it established? On 14 November 2022, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/ES-11/ 5 “Furtherance of remedy and reparation for aggression against Ukraine”, whereby it recognised that Russia must be held to account for its violations of international law in Ukraine, including by way of payment of reparation. The resolution recognised the need for an international reparations mechanism and recommended the setting up of an international register of damage as a first step.

In response to the UN Resolution, the Council of Europe established the Register of Damage as an Enlarged Partial Agreement in May 2023. An “enlarged partial agreement” is a form of international cooperation within the framework of the Council of Europe that is open to both members and non-member States. It is not a treaty and normally does not require ratification. The Register’s headquarters are in The Hague, Netherlands.

What does the Register do? The Register of Damage serves as a record of all eligible claims for compensation of damage, loss and injury caused by Russian aggression in Ukraine, as well as of evidence underlying such claims. It will provide a platform into which claimants in Ukraine can submit their claims and evidence, and will verify that the claims are eligible for inclusion in the Register, based on three simple criteria: damage must have occurred (1) in the territory of Ukraine, (2) on or after 24 February 2022, and (3) it must be linked with the Russian aggression.

In order to facilitate this process, the Register will develop a set of rules and procedures, including a list of categories of damage (which is meant to be comprehensive), claim forms, evidentiary rules for each category and other necessary information.

Who are the members of the Register and how can other States join? To date, 43 states and the European Union are parties to the Register – 38 are Participants and six are Associate Members. The Register seeks a truly global membership (the United States, Japan and Canada are already members). Any State that has voted in favour of the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/ES-11/ 5 may become a Participant or an Associate Member by simply notifying the Secretary General of the Council of Europe about their intention to join by a letter or a Note Verbale. Any other state may join the Register, subject to approval by the Conference of Participants.

What is next? The Register is beginning its work, recruiting staff and setting up its bodies, functions and facilities. The goal is to begin its main operations – taking in claims – in the first quarter of 2024. However, its main initial focus will be developing the framework of rules and procedures governing its work, as well as developing its digital platform.



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