Bundesstrafgericht Schweiz Database
"From time to time, judges must also have the courage to take unpopular decisions. Their decisions have to be based on a fair, impartial, and transparent process.”

The Federal Criminal Court is the lower instance to the Federal Supreme Court in certain criminal matters.

The Court
  • In the year 2000 the people of Switzerland voted for implementing a new article in their Federal Constitution. This article allows new federal courts to be established next to the existing Federal Supreme Court. Due to that, the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland was constituted in 2004 in Bellinzona, Canton of Ticino.
  • The Federal Criminal Court consists of three chambers: The Criminal Chamber and two chambers of appeal (the Lower Appeals Chamber and the Higher Appeals Chamber).

  • The Criminal Chamber is the court of first instance for crimes and offences against federal interests in reference to the Criminal Procedure Code. This is an exception to the primary jurisdiction of the cantons in criminal prosecution. Additionally, the Criminal Chamber addresses offences subject to several federal acts.
  • The Lower Appeals Chamber assesses, among other, appeals against procedural decisions and actions by the Federal Criminal Police, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, against detention orders and against certain decisions of the Criminal Chamber.
  • The Higher Appeals Chamber is the court of second instance for appeals against decisions of the Criminal Chamber. It also hears e.g. appeals against penalty orders by the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland.

  • The Criminal Chamber closed 76 cases in 2020. Three of them ending with a verdict of not guilty, 26 with a conviction, 20 with a partial conviction and 27 cases had a miscellaneous outcome.
  • The court’s official languages are French, German and Italian. In 2020 around 50 % of the cases were held in German, 35 % in French and 15 % in Italian.
  • The Federal Criminal Court currently consists of around 80 employees, including 20 judges. The current president of the court is Sylvia Frei.

The Database
  • All decisions of the Federal Criminal Court are published and easily accessible via the court’s database.
  • The numbering system of the Federal Criminal Court works as follows: A case’s number consists of three parameters. First, two letters which indicate the type of legal proceeding. Second the year in which the case was taken up and third, a consecutive number.
  • The search function is kept pretty simple. There is a filter option for the different chambers and a separate page with instructions on how to search effectively.

Available Formats
  • The judgments of the Federal Criminal Court are only accessible in the language of the hearing.
  • The decisions are available as pdf-files to view and download.

Sources: Swiss Federal Criminal Court

Information status as of 11.08.2021

#opendata #legal #switzerland