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Switzerland

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The European Court of Human Rights (“ECtHR”) has ruled on a case brought against Switzerland by the Swiss association KlimaSeniorinnen on behalf of its members and four individual women of the association. The more than 2.000 members of the association are elderly women (the majority over the age of 70) concerned about the consequences of global warming on their living conditions and health. The ECtHR found that Switzerland has violated Art. 8 of the European Convention…

Revision of the Swiss Declaration to the Hague Evidence Convention and the Federal Act on Private International Law: Facilitation of the use of electronic means of communication in cross-border civil proceedings Persons residing in Switzerland who are involved in foreign civil proceedings may soon be able to be examined or heard by telephone or video conference directly by foreign authorities or a person tasked to do so without prior authorization from the Federal Office of…

In its decision of 8 December 2023, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (“SFSC”) deliberated on the reservation of Swiss public policy (case no. 4A_11/2023 [in French]). Factual background In the case at stake, a Swiss watch manufacturer (the respondent before the Commercial Court of the Cantonal Supreme Court of Berne and defendant before the SFSC) purchased packaging material for watches and jewellery from a supplier domiciled in Hong Kong. The supplier (the claimant before the Commercial Court and…

In a decision published on 16 January 2024, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (“SFSC”) ruled on the enforceability of a foreign judgment in Switzerland  (case no. 4A_547/2022 [in German]). Factual background The judgment in question was issued by the Cour de Cassation of France, i.e., a court of a Lugano Convention (“LC”) member state. With its cassation judgment, the Cour de Cassation set aside the judgment of the lower instance insofar as it had ordered the…

On 1 January 2025, a revision of the Swiss Civil Procedure Code (CPC) introducing key amendments intended to facilitate the practical application of the CPC and improve access to courts in Switzerland will enter into force (see our blog post with a summary of the key amendments). This revision will also introduce provisions allowing the use of electronic means in civil proceedings in Switzerland, which was not explicitly mentioned in the CPC before (cf. art.…

On 17 March 2023, the Swiss Parliament approved a revision of the Swiss Civil Procedure Code (CPC) introducing key amendments intended to facilitate the practical application of the CPC and improve access to courts in Switzerland. This includes, among others, the introduction of legal privilege of in-house legal counsel in civil proceedings. Moreover, the revised CPC lays the foundation for cantons to create international commercial courts, where parties can choose English as the language of…

In a recent decision in case no. 4A_507/2021 (in Italian), the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (SFSC) set out the requirements for a valid conclusion of a choice of forum agreement in the context of General Terms and Conditions (GTCs). In the following, we will (1) briefly set out the general legal framework for GTCs in Switzerland, (2) present the recent decision of the SFSC, and (3) highlight the lessons from this decision. 1. General legal…

1. Introduction Swiss civil procedural law today only provides for very limited possibilities of collective redress, which the Swiss Federal Council has recognized in a report back in 2013 as insufficient. However, the issue of how exactly collective redress shall be strengthened is highly controversial. A first proposal by the Federal Council was rejected by Parliament in 2014. Relevant amendments were also initially included in the draft of the revised Civil Procedure Code (CPC) in…

With the emergence of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020, Switzerland along with many other countries introduced extensive measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Social distancing and protection measures provide new challenges in business relations – but also in legal proceedings. COVID-19 measures have had (and are still having) an unprecedented impact on the justice system. The article at hand offers a brief overview on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the…

In its decision of 18 February 2020, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court (SFSC) reiterated its position that Swiss procedural law requires a concrete substantiation of the facts underlying a party’s claim: a general reference to a detailed expert opinion was considered as insufficient substantiation (Case No. 4A_445/2019 (in German)). Below, we will provide a case summary and a short overview on the particularly rigid substantiation duty under the Swiss civil procedure rules. I. The Swiss substantiation…