Compensation for damages caused to Ukraine — the key topic of the ReOpen Ukraine 2023 business breakfast in Paris

Business Breakfast ReOpen Ukraine 2023 was held on Wednesday, November 1, in Paris within the framework of the International Bar Association (IBA) Annual Conference 2023. The event was organized by the Ukrainian Bar Association and the IBA.

As in the previous year, the purpose of the breakfast as a satellite event of the IBA Annual Conference was to draw the attention of the global legal community, governments, international organizations and civil society to the steps aimed at restoring the rule of law in Ukraine.

The event was opened by Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the IBA, and Anna Ogrenchuk, Immediate Past President of the UBA, Managing Partner of LCF Law Group.

Mark Ellis

On behalf of the Ukrainian legal and civil society community, Anna Ogrenchuk thanked the audience for supporting Ukraine, which continues to repel Russian aggression on various fronts, including the legal one.

"Supporting the rule of law, adherence to international norms, using judicial instruments to bring all perpetrators to justice is our battlefield," emphasized ex-President of the UBA.

Anna Ogrenchuk

Speaking about the cooperation between the UBA and the IBA, Ms. Ogrenchuk noted some of the joint achievements of the two associations, in particular:

  • advocating for the establishment of a Special Tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine;
  • trial monitoring in war crimes cases, which the UBA carried out with the expert support of the IBA;
  • collecting evidence of war crimes and developing accountability and damages mechanisms;
  • launching the UBA Hotline for free legal aid to war victims.

"Despite the world in crisis, our emotional exhaustion and compassion fatigue, we need to continue the discourse and our fight, we need to keep highlighting the atrocities that are committed in Ukraine and elsewhere, we need to hold those responsible for these crimes accountable, we need to bring justice for the victims, but most of all – we need the future free of aggression. So let us discuss and act on what we can do,” Anna Ogrenchuk urged.

The keynote speaker at the breakfast was Bernard-Henri Lévy, a French film director and philosopher, one of the world's leading intellectuals and one of the biggest global supporters of Ukraine for many years. In his speech, Mr. Lévy discussed the transformation of the opinion of the French society regarding the war in Ukraine and the assistance provided by France to Ukraine.

Bernard-Henri Lévy

The discussion Compensation for damages caused by the war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine was moderated by Mykola Stetsenko, UBA Presіdent, Managing Partner at AVELLUM.

Speakers:

  • Anton Korynevych, Ambassador-at-large at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Ukraine’s chief representative on issues related to the international legal prosecution of the Russian Federation;
  • Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi, Executive Director of the International Register of Damage Caused by the Aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine;
  • Jean-Marc Thouvenin, academic advisor, Secretary General of the Hague Academy of International Law, professor of law at the University of Paris-Nanterre, member of the working group on the development and implementation of international legal mechanisms for compensation for damage caused to Ukraine as a result of armed aggression of the Russian Federation;
  • Oleksiy Filatov, Senior Partner, Head of Dispute Resolution, AEQUO;
  • Svitlana Romanova, Chief Legal Officer of Metinvest Group.

Anton Korynevych

Markiyan Kliuchkovskyi
Jean-Marc Thouvenin

Oleksiy Filatov
Svitlana Romanova

Summarizing the discussion, Mykola Stetsenko emphasized the key points that were made during the discussion:

  • There are international and domestic mechanisms to compensate for the damage caused by the aggression, but they have their shortcomings.
  • The recent establishment of the International Register of Damage Caused by the Russian Aggression against Ukraine is an essential first step towards holding those responsible accountable.
  • Lawyers and policymakers worldwide should advocate for a new international treaty addressing limitations on state sovereignty in cases of aggression, as well as for relevant national legislation on the subject.
  • Clients should actively explore the potential of litigation in Ukraine as a means of assessing damages and obtaining compensation.
  • The painstaking work of documenting crimes and collecting evidence is extremely important.
  • The cooperation of all stakeholders is essential to establishing improved reparations mechanisms

"Let’s join our efforts for the victory of justice," summarized UBA President.

More photos from the event can be found at this link.

The Ukrainian Bar Association thanks the co-sponsors of the business breakfast: AEQUO (Ukraine), AGA Partners (Ukraine), ASTERS (Ukraine), AVELLUM (Ukraine), LCF Law Group (Україна), Magnusson (Nordic-Baltic countries), Sayenko Kharenko (Ukraine).

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