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The Federal Assembly shall decide on any increase in accordance with Article paragraph 3 letter c. The Confederation shall take the measures required. A minimum of 17 per cent of the gross revenue from taxation is allocated to the Cantons. This share may be reduced to 15 per cent if the consequences of financial equalisation so require. Matters excluded from harmonisation shall include in particular tax scales, tax rates and tax allowances. These funds must be used to fight the causes and effects of substance addiction.

The Confederation is responsible for legislation on customs duties and other duties on the cross-border movement of goods. Anything that is declared by federal legislation to be subject to, or exempt from value added tax, special consumption taxes, stamp duty or withholding tax may not be made liable to similar taxes by the Cantons or communes. The payments made by those Cantons with a higher level of resources shall amount to a minimum of two thirds and a maximum of 80 per cent of the payments made by the Confederation.

All citizens have the same political rights and duties. If the Federal Assembly rejects the initiative, it shall submit it to a vote of the People; the People shall decide whether the initiative should be adopted. If they vote in favour, the Federal Assembly shall draft the corresponding bill. The Federal Assembly shall recommend whether the initiative should be adopted or rejected. It may submit a counter-proposal to the initiative. Repealed in the Popular Vote on 27 Sept. This article in its version in the FedD of 4 Oct. In response to the third question, they may indicate the proposal that they prefer if both are accepted.

This let. The members of the National Council and of the Federal Council as well as the Federal Chancellor are elected for a term of office of four years. Judges of the Federal Supreme Court have a term of office of six years. The Confederation shall be liable for damage or loss unlawfully caused by its organs in the exercise of official activities. The Cantons, the political parties and interested groups shall be invited to express their views when preparing important legislation or other projects of substantial impact as well as in relation to significant international treaties.

A general election is held every four years. Each Canton has at least one seat. The convening of sessions is governed by law. Each Council elects a President from its members for a term of one year, together with a first Vice-President and a second Vice-President. Re-election for the following year is not permitted.

The extent of such rights and powers is governed by the law. The Federal Assembly has parliamentary services at its disposal. It may call on the services of offices of the Federal Administration. The details are regulated by law. These include in particular fundamental provisions on:. Such acts must be of limited duration.

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Any such act must be of limited duration. The Federal Assembly determines the expenditure of the Confederation, adopt the budget and approve the federal accounts. The Federal Assembly shall ensure that federal measures are evaluated with regard to their effectiveness. The Federal Assembly may assign functions to the Federal Council. The details are regulated by law, and in particular the means by which the Federal Assembly may intervene in matters that fall within the remit of the Federal Council.

Any Swiss citizen eligible for election to the National Council may be elected to the Federal Council. The President may not be elected Vice-President for the following year. It ensures that it is organised appropriately and that it fulfils its duties effectively. The Federal Chancellery is the general administrative office of the Federal Council. It is headed by a Federal Chancellor. It plans and coordinates state activities.

It submits them to the Federal Assembly for approval. Ordinances must be of limited duration. Such ordinances must be limited in duration. Where it mobilises more than 4, members of the armed forces for active service or where the deployment of such troops is expected to last for more than three weeks, the Federal Assembly must be convened without delay.

Exceptions may be provided for by law. This paragraph in its version of FedD of 4 Oct. The Federal Supreme Court and the other judicial authorities apply the federal acts and international law. The law may confer further powers on the Federal Criminal Court. The judicial authorities are independent in the exercise of their judicial powers and are bound only by the law. The totally or partly revised Federal Constitution comes into force when it is approved by the People and the Cantons.

The transfer of freight transit traffic from road to rail must be completed ten years after the adoption of the popular initiative for the protection of the alpine regions from transit traffic. It may determine rates in terms of paragraph 2 for special categories of vehicle, exempt certain vehicles from the charge and issue special regulations, in particular for journeys in border areas. Such regulations must not result in vehicles registered abroad being treated more favourably than Swiss vehicles.

The Federal Council may provide for fines in respect of contraventions. The Cantons shall collect the charge on vehicles registered in Switzerland. Transitional provisions to Art. The monies shall be calculated in accordance with Article 86 paragraph 2 letter e.

Prior to that, it shall be 5 per cent.

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Proof must be established of the necessity and readiness for implementation For each major project in its entirety. In the case of the NRLA project, each of the construction phases shall form the subject matter of a federal act. The Federal Assembly shall approve the required financing through guarantee credits. The Federal Council shall approve the construction phases and determine the time schedule. Until 23 September , no general, construction, start-up or operating licences for new facilities for the production of nuclear energy may be granted.

Until the enactment of federal legislation, the Cantons must mutually recognise their education or training qualifications. For no more than ten years from the date on which the Constitution comes into force, the Cantons may retain existing regulations that make the opening of new businesses dependent on establishing a need, in order to guarantee the existence of important parts of a specific branch of the hotel and restaurant industry.

Transitional provision to Art. Insured persons who belong to the generation working at the time of the introduction of the occupational pension scheme and therefore do not contribute for the full period shall receive the statutory minimum benefits, according to their income, within 10 to 20 years of the Act coming into force.

Until a federal act 20 comes into force, the beer tax shall be levied in accordance with the current law. The Beer Tax Act of 6 Oct. From the date on which the Federal Decree of 3 October 4 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and the Allocation of Tasks between the Confederation and Cantons comes into force, the Cantons shall, until they have their own approved special-needs school strategies, but for a minimum of three years, assume responsibility for the current payments made by the Invalidity Insurance for special needs education including the special needs pre-school education in accordance with Art.

The Cantons shall construct the national highways listed in the Federal Decree of 21 June 7 on the National Highway Network in its version valid on the commencement of the Federal Decree of 3 Oct. The Confederation and Cantons shall share the costs. The share of the costs borne by the individual Cantons shall be determined by the burden imposed on them by the national highways, their interest in these highways, and their financial capacity. From the date on which the Federal Decree of 3 October 10 on the New System of Financial Equalisation and the Allocation of Tasks between the Confederation and Cantons comes into force, the Cantons shall assume responsibility for the current payments made by the Invalidity Insurance to institutions, workshops and residential homes until they have an approved strategy on people with disabilities that also regulates the granting of cantonal contributions towards the construction and running of institutions that accept residents from outside the relevant canton, but for a minimum of three years.

The current payments under Article bis of the Federal Act of 20 December 12 on the Old-Age and Survivors' Insurance for assistance and care in the home for elderly people and people with disabilities shall continue to be paid by the Cantons until cantonal regulations on the financing of assistance and care in the home come into force. Swiss agriculture shall remain free of gene technology for a period of five years following the adoption of this constitutional provision.

In particular, the following may neither be imported nor placed on the market:. The legislature must define and add to the offences covered by Article paragraph 3 and issue the criminal provisions relating to illegal entry in accordance with Article paragraph 6 within five years of the adoption of Article paragraphs by the People and the Cantons.

Until the statutory provisions come into force, the Federal Council shall issue the required implementing provisions within one year of the adoption of Article 95 paragraph 3 by the People and the Cantons. Adopted by the popular vote on 28 Nov. The Federal Council may impose fines for contraventions of the regulations. The Cantons shall collect the charge for vehicles registered in Switzerland and monitor compliance of all vehicles with the regulations.


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Each voter has the unrestricted right to state:. Unanswered questions shall not be taken into consideration. The proposal that receives the greater number of votes from the People and from the Cantons on this question shall come into force.


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The Federal Assembly shall adapt amendments to the Federal Constitution of 29 May to the new Federal Constitution as regards their form. The decree issued to this effect shall not be subject to a referendum. No time limit for the right to prosecute or for penalties for sexual or pornography offences involving prepubescent children Art.

Measure relating to sexual offences involving children or persons who are incapable of judgement or resistance Art. Popular initiative requesting a partial revision of the Federal Constitution in specific terms Art. Transitional provisions following the adoption of the Federal Constitution of 18 April Art. Back to top. Language comparison. Navigation The federal Council. Search Search. In the name of Almighty God! The Swiss People and the Cantons, mindful of their responsibility towards creation, resolved to renew their alliance so as to strengthen liberty, democracy, independence and peace in a spirit of solidarity and openness towards the world, determined to live together with mutual consideration and respect for their diversity, conscious of their common achievements and their responsibility towards future generations, and in the knowledge that only those who use their freedom remain free, and that the strength of a people is measured by the well-being of its weakest members, adopt the following Constitution 1 :.

The principle of subsidiarity must be observed in the allocation and performance of state tasks.

The Right to Freedom of Expression and Religion

The right to an adequate and free basic education is guaranteed. The Cantons decide on the duties that they must fulfil within the scope of their powers. The following resources shall be allocated to the fund: a. One half of the net proceeds of the consumption tax on aviation fuels and the surcharge on the consumption tax on aviation fuels shall be used for the following tasks and costs in connection with air traffic: a. The Confederation is responsible for legislation in the field of nuclear energy. It elects on an annual basis the president of the board of directors, the individual members of the board of directors and the remuneration committee, and the independent representatives of voting rights.

Pension funds vote in the interests of their insured members and disclose how they have voted. Shareholders may vote remotely online; they may not be represented by a governing officer of the company or by a custodian bank; b. The management of the company may not be delegated to a legal entity; c. It has in particular the following powers and duties: a.

In order to guarantee the supply of food to the population, the Confederation shall create the conditions required for: a. It is a requirement for any research project that the participants or their legal representatives have given their informed consent. The law may provide for exceptions.

A refusal is binding in every case. The risks and stress for the participants must not be disproportionate to the benefits of the research project. A research project involving persons lacking the capacity to consent may be conducted only if findings of equal value cannot be obtained from research involving persons who have the capacity to consent.

If the research project is not expected to bring any immediate benefit to the persons lacking the capacity to consent, the risks and stress must be minimal. An independent assessment of the research project must have determined that the safety of the participants is guaranteed. In doing so, it shall ensure the protection of human dignity, privacy and the family and shall adhere in particular to the following principles: a.

All forms of cloning and interference with the genetic material of human reproductive cells and embryos are unlawful. Non-human reproductive and genetic material may neither be introduced into nor combined with human reproductive material. The donation of embryos and all forms of surrogate motherhood are unlawful.

The trade in human reproductive material and in products obtained from embryos is prohibited. The genetic material of a person may be analysed, registered or made public only with the consent of the person concerned or if the law so provides. Every person shall have access to data relating to their ancestry. It may grant subsidies to the Cantons for: a. The Confederation is responsible for legislation on weights and measures. The political parties shall contribute to forming the opinion and will of the People. The members the Federal Assembly may form parliamentary groups.

Meetings of the Councils are held in public. These include in particular fundamental provisions on: a. Taking measures to safeguard external security and the independence and neutrality of Switzerland. Taking measures to safeguard internal security. If extraordinary circumstances require, issuing ordinances or simple federal decrees in order to fulfil its duties under letters a and b.

Regulating active service and mobilising the armed forces or sections thereof for this purpose. Taking measures to enforce federal law. Ruling on the validity of popular initiatives that meet the formal requirements. Participating in the general planning of state activities. Deciding on individual acts where a federal act expressly so provides. Deciding on conflicts of jurisdiction between the highest federal authorities. Issuing pardons and deciding on amnesties. Under present international Conventions, state obligations in relation to freedom of expression are absolute and immediate.

At the same time, as with other forms of liberty, completely unrestricted freedom of expression may lead to the infringement on the rights of others. The freedom of expression has been hedged in by a number of limitations and restrictions, often more extensively than other rights. Historically, most limitations have dealt with the expression of sentiments contrary to prevailing institutions or religious, political or other beliefs. In addition, in times of war, governments often restrict the freedom of expression in the interest of national security.

As a cornerstone of democracy, the complexity and importance of freedom of expression has lead to extensive case-law before national courts and international supervisory mechanisms. International human rights law recognises a spectrum of expression, ranging from those forms that must be protected to those that must be punished. The CRC stipulates that states have to assure that a child who is capable of forming his or her own views can express those views freely and that these views be taken into account in accordance with the age and maturity of the child Article Article 21 CRPD sets out the freedom of expression and opinion, and access to information.

The freedom of expression and opinion is a complex right that includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds through any media. Therefore, in general, certain restrictions or limitations on the freedom of expression are permitted under human rights law. A strong correlation between freedom of expression and the right to gain access to information in order to form and express opinions has been recognised in the Inter-American System.

The Declaration seeks to guarantee the freedom of expression and addresses, inter alia, limitations to the right, the obligation of states to promote diversity of information and private broadcasting, freedom of information, independence of regulatory bodies for broadcast and telecommunications, defamation laws, complaints about media content and attacks on media practitioners. The Resolution calls on member states to take all necessary measures in order to uphold their obligations under the African Charter.

The Danish Cartoon Controversy. What has become known as the Danish cartoon controversy exemplifies the precarious balance between freedom of expression and the repression of expression. In a Danish newspaper published a series of cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed as a possible terrorist, in one instance with a bomb in his turban. Many Muslims were outraged because depictions of Mohammed are prohibited in the majority of Muslim communities and likening Muslims to terrorists could incite discrimination and prejudice. Other factions upheld the right of the paper to publish the cartoons as a freedom of expression issue.

The Danish cartoon incident sparked mass demonstrations throughout the world resulting in death and extensive damage of property in addition to sparking a fiery debate on international law, freedom of expression and permissible limitations of this right. The OSCE also addresses freedom of expression. In the Helsinki Final Act , principles guiding relations between participating states include provisions on conditions for journalists and dissemination of information. Both the Madrid document and the Vienna document include provisions encouraging exchanges in the media field.

Likewise, states committed themselves to facilitating the work of journalists and respecting their copyrights. This right will include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

The task of the Representative is to observe relevant media developments in OSCE participating states with a view to providing early warning on violations of freedom of expression.

In several international fora, particular attention has been paid to the protection of professionals, particularly journalists, whose physical integrity is at stake when freedom of expression is insufficiently guaranteed. Some UN specialised agencies are also committed to the promotion of freedom of expression. For example, UNESCO has promoted freedom of expression, press freedom, independence and pluralism of the media as part of its activities.

The freedom of expression is reduced by possible limitations under several international standards mentioned above. Moreover, freedom of expression and its internationally accepted limitations can be distorted by government initiatives through propaganda, control of the media and various other measures aimed at restricting the press, e. The right to freedom of expression has engendered a substantial body of case-law, in which both the right itself as well its limitations have been further defined. The Human Rights Committee has dealt with many cases dealing with the right to freedom of expression.

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It has, for instance, found that imprisoning a trade leader for supporting a strike and condemning a government threat to send in troops violated his right to freedom of expression Sohn v. In another case, the Committee found inadmissible a complaint alleging a violation where the dissemination of anti-Semitic messages via recorded telephone messages was prohibited.

The complaint was found inadmissible as hate speech was clearly incompatible with the rights protected in the Covenant J. Party v. The Committee has stated that commercial expression, such as outdoor advertising, is protected by freedom of expression see, e. Canada and that the right to receive information was violated when a journalist was denied full access for no disclosed reason to parliamentary press facilities in his country Gauthier v.

Under the auspices of the European system, the European Court has stated that freedom of expression:. The United Kingdom. Many cases have been brought before the former European Commission and the Court regarding the freedom of expression; several deal with the rights of journalists to freedom of expression. Denmark , the Danish government prosecuted and convicted a journalist for disseminating the racist views of others on television.

In a case of Austrian journalists found guilty in domestic courts for defamation, the Court found that politicians may be subject to stronger public criticisms than private citizens see, e. The Court has found that state monopoly on broadcasting constitutes an interference with the right to freedom of expression Informationsverein Lentia et al. It has found restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression of public employees justified see, e. Regarding the right to receive information, it has found that this right does not necessarily impose a positive duty on the state to collect and disseminate information Guerra v.

Austria no. Austria , concerning a film which challenged Christian beliefs, the Court found the seizure of the film justified. Cases brought before the Inter-American Commission have among other issues dealt with violence against or murder of journalists, intimidation, threats, and harassment see, e. Guatemala Case The Court therefore found a violation of the right to freedom of expression Olmedo Bustos et al.

The Court has also dealt with indirect restrictions on freedom of expression, the right to the truth and the right to reply. According to the Court, the freedom of expression. These two dimensions must be guaranteed simultaneously Ivcher Bronstein v.

Jawara v. The Commission has held that state harassment with the aim of disrupting legitimate activities of an organisation that informs and educates people about their rights constitutes a clear violation of the right to freedom of expression. Finally, in a case regarding the trial and execution of community organisation leaders following a rally, the Commission stressed the close relationship between the right to freedom of expression and the rights to association and assembly. Because of that relationship, the Commission found that the severe punishments inflicted as a result of the rally were inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression International Pen, Constitutional Rights Project, Interrights on behalf of Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr.

Recognising the importance of freedom of expression, international fora and national governments have sought to promote additional standards to protect particular elements of this right.