This is in complement to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Despite any possible difficulties that can arise from the federal, canton nature of Switzerland as a State the country allows for any international treaty, ratified and automatically becomes enforceable as national law, without the need to individually assess and implement international mechanisms manually; this is useful in Switzerland's plight to increase the human rights standards of the country.
The Federal Constitution of Switzerland lists dignity and equality as paramount, evident in the application of a number of federal legislations. Switzerland is a supporting nation of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, recognising the importance of the Defenders in the international application of human rights, the pressures these individuals and groups put on states to improve their national commitment to human rights.
Switzerland has implemented and seeks to standardise the Swiss Guidelines on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders in efforts to protect defenders internally and on rights-driven missions to other nation states. Switzerland ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in and has continued to enhance children's rights since.
In , the Federal Social Insurance Office began a program to protect youth from violence, another for the education of and protection from the media. Complementary to this, nationwide organisations such as the Pro Juventute Foundation and the Swiss Foundation for Child Protection are active in working with victims of child abuse of many kinds. Internationally, Switzerland is signed to the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse , which criminalises sexual acts against children in all of its signed countries. Regardless of the structural mechanisms in place, human rights reports still document high rates of child abuse in Switzerland.
There have been minor improvements made within the scope of children's right protection since the second Swiss UPR from October These are in relation to rights and regulations governing the punishment of child offenders, not in relation to the high statistics of abuse. It establishes the Swiss Confederation as a federal republic of 26 cantons; the document contains a catalogue of individual and popular rights, delineates the responsibilities of the cantons and the Confederation and establishes the federal authorities of government.
The Constitution was adopted by a referendum on 18 April , in which a majority of the people and the Cantons voted in favour, it replaced the prior federal constitution of , which it was intended to be brought up to date without changing its substance. Gallen , Thurgau , Ticino and Geneva. The new cantonal constitutions in many cases served as precedents for the federal constitution. Following the French July Revolution in , a number of large assemblies were held calling for new cantonal constitutions; the modifications to the cantonal constitutions made during this period of "Regeneration" remains the basis of the current-day cantonal constitutions.
Vaud introduced the legislative popular initiative in Berne introduced the legislative optional referendum in the same year; the political crisis of the Regeneration period culminated in the Sonderbund War of November As a result of the Sonderbund War, Switzerland was transformed into a federal state, with a constitution promulgated on 12 September ; this constitution provided for the cantons' sovereignty, as long as this did not impinge on the Federal Constitution.
The creation of a bicameral assembly was consciously inspired by the United States Constitution, the National Council and Council of States corresponding to the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively. The Constitution of was revised in , wholly revised in This latter constitutional change introduced the referendum at the federal level. In a partial revision of , the "right of initiative" was introduced, under which a certain number of voters could make a request to amend a constitutional article, or to introduce a new article into the constitution; this mechanism is called federal popular initiative.
Thus, partial revisions of the constitution could — from this time onward — be made at any time. Twelve such changes were made in the period of to 20 August prohibition of schechita without anesthetization 5 July prohibition of absinthe 13 October proportional representation in the Swiss National Council 21 March prohibition of casino gambling 30 January mandatory referendum on international treaties signed by Switzerland 2 December exemptions on the ban on casinos 11 September provisions for the optional referendum procedure 28 November provisions against overpricing 6 December protection of wetlands 23 September moratorium on nuclear power plants 26 September Swiss National Day 20 February protection of the Alpine landscape The Federal Constitution was wholly revised for the second time in the s, the new version was approved by popular and cantonal vote on 18 April It came into force on 1 January The Constitution of Switzerland consists of Preambule and 6 Parts, which together make up Articles, it provides an explicit provision for nine fundamental rights, which up until had only been discussed and debated in the Federal Court.
The preamble opens with a solemn invocation of God in continuance of Swiss constitutional tradition. It is a mandate to the State authorities by the Swiss people and cantons, as the Confederation's constituent powers, to adhere to the values listed in the preamble, which include "liberty and democracy and peace in solidarity a.
In a few cantons, a second round of the elections to the Council of States was held on 11 November, 18 November, 25 November For the 48th legislative term of the federal parliament, voters in 26 cantons elected all members of the National Council as well as 43 out of 46 members of the Council of States; the other three members of the Council of States for that term of service were elected at an earlier date. The Swiss People's Party came out of the election as the strongest party, rising another 2.
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Among the left-wing parties, support of the Social Democrats eroded to the benefit of the Green and Green Liberal parties. The right-wing parties won 64 seats made up of the SVP with 62 seats and a single seat of the Christian right Federal Democratic Union and the regional Ticino League respectively; the left-wing parties won 65 seats, with 43 of the Social Democrats, 20 of the Green party, the Christian-left Christian Social Party and the far-left Labour Party with a single seat each.
The centrist parties won 71 seats, with the CVP and the centre-right FDP each having won 31 seats, the remaining 9 seats won by minor parties: Liberals, 4 seats. Ricardo Lumengo is notable as the first black Swiss national councillor. Christine Egerszegi of Aargau is the first woman councillor elected in that canton. In: Tages-Anzeiger , Der Wandel der Parteienlandschaft seit ". As part of the judiciary, it is one of the three branches of government in Switzerland's political system, it is headquartered in the Federal Courthouse in Lausanne in the canton of Vaud.
The current president of the court is Ulrich Meyer ; the Federal Supreme Court is the final arbiter on disputes in the field of civil law, the public arena, as well as in disputes between cantons or between cantons and the Confederation. Decisions in the field of human rights violation can be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ; as a state agency, the Federal Supreme Court examines the uniform application of federal law by the cantonal and federal courts of lower instance.
It protects the rights. During a dispute, the Federal Supreme Court examines the application of the law and does not examine the facts of the other courts below, unless evidently flawed. When an appeal is filed, the Federal Supreme Court examines whether the law was applied in the contested decision and thus ensures the uniform application of federal law throughout the country. Its decisions contribute to its adaptation to new circumstances; the other courts and the administrative authorities use the decisions of the Federal Supreme Court as a reference and adopt their principles.
Procedures before the Federal Supreme Court take place in writing. There are no court hearings with plaintiffs and defendants giving testimony and lawyers pleading their cases; the Federal Supreme Court bases its decisions on facts as they are established by the lower instances and described in the records of the previous proceedings. If the Federal Supreme Court concludes that a lower court has decided incorrectly, it overturns the contested decision and if necessary sends it back to the previous instance for a new decision. In addition to its work as the highest judicial authority, the Federal Supreme Court exercises administrative supervision over the Federal Criminal Court , the Federal Administrative Court and the Federal Patent Court.
According to the Constitution of Switzerland , the court has jurisdiction over violations of: federal law. Because of an emphasis on direct democracy through referendum, the Constitution precludes the Federal Supreme Court from reviewing acts of the Federal Parliament , unless such review is provided for by statute.
Decisions of arbitral tribunals constituted under Swiss law, such as the Court of Arbitration for Sport , can be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court, although judicial review is limited to a narrow set of questions of law in such cases; the supervisory bodies are the Court Assembly, the Administrative Commission and the Conference of Presidents. The Conference of Presidents consists of the presidents of the various divisions and is responsible for the coordination of judicial decision-making among the divisions.
The President of the Federal Supreme Court acts in an advisory capacity; the Secretary- General participates in meetings held by the Court Assembly, the Administrative Commission and the Conference of Presidents in an advisory capacity. A total of 38 justices sit on the bench of the Federal Supreme Court. Of the federal justices serving on the bench, three have Italian , 12 French and 23 German as their native language; the justices are forbidden from engaging in any gainful occupation outside of their work as federal justices.
The federal justices have the status of government officials; the federal justices are proposed by the Judicial Committee and elected by the United Federal Assembly for a term of office of six years. They can be re-elected an unlimited number of times. There is, however, an upper age limit of Anyone who has the right to vote at the federal level may be elected a federal justice. In practice, only proven jurists from the judiciary, practicing legal profession, academia or the public sector are elected; the Federal Supreme Court numbers 19 deputy justices, who are elected by the Federal Assembly.
Of the deputy justices sitting on the bench, three have Italian, five French and 11 German as their native language. Nine of the deputy justices are women; the deputy federal justices serve in a part-time capacity, otherwise they are professors, practicing lawyers or cantonal judges. In the proceedings on which they sit they have the same rights and obligations as the ordin.
Political party A political party is an organized group of people with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests. While there is some international commonality in the way political parties are recognized and in how they operate, there are many differences, some are significant.
Many political parties have an ideological core, but some do not, many represent ideologies different from their ideology at the time the party was founded. Many countries, such as Germany and India , have several significant political parties, some nations have one-party systems, such as China and Cuba ; the United States is in practice a two-party system but with many smaller parties participating and a high degree of autonomy for individual candidates. Political factions have existed in democratic societies since ancient times. Plato writes in his Republic on the formation of political cliques in Classical Athens , the tendency of Athenian citizens to vote according to factional loyalty rather than for the public good.
In the Roman Republic , Polybius coined the term ochlocracy to describe the tendency of politicians to mobilise popular factionalist sentiment against their political rivals. Factional politics remained a part of Roman political life through the Imperial period and beyond, the poet Juvenal coined the phrase "bread and circuses" to describe the political class pandering to the citizenry through diversionary entertainments rather than through arguments about policy. The patricians who sponsored the Blues and the Greens competed with each other to hold grander games and public entertainments during electoral campaigns, in order to appeal to the citizenry of Constantinople ; the first modern political factions, can be said to have originated in early modern Britain.
The first political factions, cohering around a basic, if fluid, set of principles, emerged from the Exclusion Crisis and Glorious Revolution in late 17th century England. The Whigs supported Protestant constitutional monarchy against absolute rule, they were interested in the citizens of United Kingdom being free from the aristocracy and opposed to any tyranny, however they supported the constitutional aristocracy and does not consider the British nobility abusive because of its limits; the leader of the Whigs was Robert Walpole , who maintained control of the government in the period — As the century wore on, the factions began to adopt more coherent political tendencies as the interests of their power bases began to diverge; the Whig party's initial base of support from the great aristocratic families widened to include the emerging industrial interests and wealthy merchants.
As well as championing constitutional monarchy with strict limits on the monarch's power, the Whigs adamantly opposed a Catholic king as a threat to liberty, believed in extending toleration to nonconformist Protestants, or dissenters. A major influence on the Whigs were the liberal political ideas of John Locke , the concepts of universal rights employed by Locke and Algernon Sidney. Although the Tories were out of office for half a century, for most of this period the Tories retained party cohesion, with occasional hopes of regaining office at the accession of George II and the downfall of the ministry of Sir Robert Walpole in , they acted as a united, though unavailing, opposition to Whig corruption and scandals.
When they lost power, the old Whig leadership dissolved into a decade of factional chaos with distinct " Grenvillite ", " Bedfordite ", " Rockinghamite ", " Chathamite " factions successively in power, all referring to themselves as "Whigs". Out of this chaos, the first distinctive parties emerged; the first such party was the Rockingham Whigs under the leadership of Charles Watson-Wentworth and the intellectual guidance of the political philosopher Edmund Burke.
Burke laid out a philosophy that described the basic framework of the political party as "a body of men united for promoting by their joint endeavours the national interest, upon some particular principle in which they are all agreed". As opposed to the instability of the earlier factions, which were tied to a particular leader and could disintegrate if removed from power, the party was centred around a set of core principles and remained out of power as a united opposition to government.
A coalition including the Rockingham Whigs, led by the Earl of She. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Human rights. Federal Council. Federal Assembly. Council of States members National Council members Political parties. Voting Recent elections Federal: Mandatory Optional. Federal courts. Foreign relations. European Union. Administrative divisions. Cantons Municipalities.
Other countries Atlas. This section needs to be updated. In particular: results needed. By the s, Swiss cantons began to implement liberal constitutions that organized the cantonal polities and especially school laws ranging between federalist and centralist concepts CROUSAZ et al. But it was not until that the modern federal Swiss state was founded as the loose bond of independent states gave itself the first federal constitution.
Nevertheless, the cantons understand themselves until today as republics and sovereign states equally represented within the federal state. These conditions already figured in most cantonal constitutions; nevertheless, their inclusion in the federal constitution was highly controversial because it seemed to threaten the autonomy of the cantons CRIBLEZ; HUBER, In , Ernest Renan described Switzerland as a nation by will and consent, a state that consciously opts for a community of diverse citizenry RENAN, It was this diversity that became constitutive of the national identity, the multilevel state polity, and the cantonal school laws.
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School issues in general and school-building regulations specifically remained until today within the competences of the cantons and the communes. The development of regulations concerning the school buildings and public discussions in Switzerland demonstrate through standardisation and diversity that school buildings were embedded in the context of nation-building as well in the cantons as in the later Swiss Confederation, and thus contributed to the construction of the cantonal and the national Swiss citizen.
By the s, cantons with liberal governments such as Bern and Zurich discussed the release of official and binding regulations for the construction of school buildings accompanied by prototypes. And most cantons did not follow until the s and s after the federal constitutional reform in Zurich had sent two copies of its regulation and prototypes to each cantonal authority immediately after issued.
In consequence, these documents reveal a certain degree of standardisation with respect to the expectations regarding construction quality, hygiene, pedagogic needs, and aesthetic outcome. Neither aesthetics nor administrative procedures were standardised.
Indeed, none of the later cantonal regulations prescribed a specific style or binding general rules for external architecture, but rather claimed for well-balanced and unpretentious design e. GROB, , p. Despite the explicit denial of luxury, a certain degree of standardisation took place towards the end of the 19 th century depending on local interests and conditions.
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The new schoolhouse in Hohentannen, Canton of Thurgau, built in , is an example of this tendency Fig. Source: Schweizerische Lehrerzeitung , v. Old and new schoolhouse in Hohentannen Canton of Thurgau. The standardized expectations throughout Switzerland functioned as symbolic resources for defining national identity as they could be transformed into common values and knowledge with unifying effect in a time marked by the Franco-German War and the World Exhibitions.
Positioning school and school buildings between the local and the international: knowledge and local traditions as symbolic resources. The trend towards standardisation has to be understood within the context of world fairs, the Swiss national exhibition in , school and hygiene exhibitions, which stimulated the self-representation of cantons and nations through education and school buildings. The cantons were called to send their exhibits to Zurich. The organizers were concerned about exhibiting a Swiss school system that was not unitary, and thus, not national.
This concern persisted when the Swiss national exhibition took place in Zurich. A commission consisting of cantonal representatives appointed in concluded that the exhibition should be national and therefore based not on cantonal but on factual and educational criteria and knowledge WETTSTEIN, , p. Although the Federal Government did not have competences regarding compulsory schooling - except for the subsidiary role in case the cantons did not provide sufficiently for it - the Federal Department of Home Affairs ordered a report on the existing permanent school exhibitions in As factual criteria with regard of the school buildings may apply quality, hygienic and pedagogic standards which could be labelled as Swiss.
Further, there is one element of the school buildings that helped the schoolhouse break through as a national Swiss feature: the heating and ventilation systems as products of the highest education institution in Switzerland, the ETH. On behalf of the national exhibition in Geneva for example, Zurich exposed a photographic poster of its most representative school buildings in Zurich City Fig. And local master masons published reviews on the newest communal or cantonal buildings e. In addition, the local significance of the schoolhouse was increasingly discussed at the beginning of the 20 th century, a period marked by high investment in building construction, demolition of traditional buildings substituted by modern art nouveau buildings and international demographic movement.
This accelerated change and modernisation process was accompanied by its counterpart, the life reform movement, as answer to the perceived and dreaded loss of cultural identity. As a public building, it was part of the public estate and thus it should materialise the community awareness, express the character of the people. Thus, architecture and schoolhouse design should follow local traditions instead of imitating foreign aesthetics - and foreign meant here not only extra-national, but also the import of urban architecture into rural communes.
While the Swiss pavilion at the international hygiene exhibition in Dresden presented Switzerland as Swiss nation, in Switzerland, nationality or nationhood were being linked more and more to the local commune constructing the national without mentioning the nation-state in a political sense. Fritschi published a review of school buildings constructed in Switzerland that year. As typical examples serve schoolhouses built in communes, not in cantons: St.
The national unity was constructed by professional architecture standards combining hygiene and architecture quality with aesthetic adaptation to the local environment as new criteria besides splendour and impressiveness that honoured the communes FRITSCHI, , p. The schoolhouse was seen as an important indicator of citizenship because of the high expenditures that it conveyed for the public hand demonstrating the patriotic sacrifice of the people in favour of the local and the national development.
Appealing and acknowledging the willingness for sacrifice in favour of education was a form of anchoring adult and child citizens. The school building as transmitter of educational content was not a novelty of the heritage protection movement. German doctor Georg Varrentrapp compared the schoolhouse with a textbook from which the child, the future adult and citizen, could learn. Civic engagement for the local school could be rewarded, eventually integrating offices of local school authorities into the school building as it was the case in the City of St.
The heritage protection movement coincided with the increasing number of architects graduated from the ETH. Henry Baudin explained in :. These simultaneous [educational] actions […] have a happy influence on […] the creation of equipped generations armed for the harsh material and moral struggle for life.
It is therefore not foolhardy to say that […] in Switzerland, school architecture can be considered, if not as a primordial factor, but as a powerful and indispensable auxiliary to education and instruction, because, more and more, Swiss architects are dominated by the idea of making school "a house of gaiety and light where the soul of the child would open itself with a smile to the beauty of things 10 BAUDIN, , p.
The school building in Switzerland supported the construction of a multifaceted Swiss citizen: it includes local, cantonal, national and international spaces of knowledge, and the involvement of laymen and professionals. The school building is a part of schooling that cannot be clearly assigned to one sole profession or one political authority. Thus, it represents at the same time an area of competition and the material synthesis of such relations.
Local engagement and local aesthetics anchored the citizen to the commune. National exhibitions and cantonal competition anchored the citizen to the canton. The technological output of the ETH and its international competitiveness anchored the citizen to the nation state. Differentiation meant being a Swiss citizen in contrast to other nation states, a citizen of a specific canton, and within a canton a citizen of a specific commune. Standardisation meant the shared expectation not only with respect of the technological and aesthetic quality of the school building, but also that education at all levels of the system was a pillar of the Swiss state and a common trait of the Swiss citizen.
Multilingual Luxembourg, a tiny Grand Duchy in the middle of Europe, situated between Germany and France, could not built its national vision on a monolingual citizenship. In the course of history, it had been considered part of Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, giving rise to the idea of a societal bilingualism.
Thus, Luxembourg was deeply concerned about national autonomy, size, and international competitiveness. This unique mixture is also omnipresent in architectural multilingualism. And still today, Luxembourgian scenery reveals very different contingent architectural traces of Italian, Spanish, Wallonish de Beauffe , French Vauban , Austrian, and Prussian architecture.
Historical evidence will be drawn from two national construction booms in the s and the s. In the late 18 th century, schooling in larger towns took place within other local authority spaces, as the case of the city of Wiltz illustrates: The same building hosted not only the local primary school but also the bailiff, the local police, and the hunter of the Duke THEIN, , thus forming an inseparable unit of state power, local noble privileges, and school.
When Luxembourg was under French rule during the French Revolution, this unit fell largely apart: many schoolhouses were assigned to the commune and the spaces of local noble privilege were auctioned to local notables. A Luxembourgian state had been planned at the Congress of Vienna, though it was governed by the Dutch monarchy in personal union.
This province of Luxembourg commonly rented buildings for the winter months for the purpose of schooling: In , Luxembourg counted rented winter schools for schoolmasters. Simultaneously, the government arranged architectural competitions for the erection of new schools, and appointed a commission consisting of state architecture commissioners, a geologist, and major local notables; yet, there was no education expert involved at all THEIN, , p.
But still after independence in , many communes, especially in rural areas such as the Oesling, held school without a school building. In the s and s, however, the reuse of buildings that had not originally been created for schooling was criticized as inappropriate and untimely. From then on, an exclusive building for school became a standard initiated in the centre and diffusing to the periphery.
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At the same time, Luxembourg changed from an emigration to an immigration country and experienced a distinct economic upturn. This development entailed a drastic policy change within the new state. The city now expanded during the following decades beyond the former fortress boundaries and evolved architecturally and urbanistically: City boulevards and parks, plateaus and bridges were built, that connected the new quarters around the train station with the city centre.
School building activities of this time include the schools in Pfaffenthal , Bonnevoie , Clausen , Hollerich and , and Grund The broad cultural and educational policy reform projects were likely endorsed by increasing institutionalisation, standardisation, and systematisation. They furthermore widened existing educational structures that had been perceived as local or strata-bound foremost urban-capital phenomena, to national projects.
One of these reforms was the implementation of mandatory schooling in that expanded and organised the public-school system. Sources such as postcards with images of school buildings emphasised the aspirations of making primary schooling available for all citizens and demonstrated the transformation of the school building into a symbol of progress or failure of the modern public-school system SCHREIBER, Another important school expansion took place after World War II.
Construction activity in general boomed in the s with financial support from the USA to replace the schools destructed during war. Also new primary and middle schools were constructed all over the country, especially in the rural and structurally weak Luxembourgian North. The exterior appearance of schools followed a widely uniform construction and design regardless of school track and school type. As a symbol of progress and hope, the school building took effect both locally, where it also promised a new dimension of social justice and chances especially for the children of industrial workers, and internationally, where it signalised that Luxembourg could keep track with international development:.
Down in the valley, the father is working at the iron works, but from time to time he looks toward the Fonderie quarter, where his son is being prepared in the new school building for his future life ANLUX…, MEN, Equal chances and national coherence were core points of the school construction programme and its correspondent discourses: Hierarchical differences that had existed so far, such as the ascetic character of schools in the rural North, were retrospectively attributed to climatic circumstances like rough winds, instead of societal hierarchies SIMON, Among the local guests were not only representatives of the commune, clergymen and politicians, but also prominent army and police members e.
Over the decades, the school buildings became national institutional buildings that served for national unification in manifold ways, some of which will be outlined hereafter. A former city school student reported, how the view from the classroom to the cathedral, the citizen administration building, and the post office with its imposing clock impressed the school children SCHWAB, Indeed, school buildings formed a public complex as moral architecture together with other institutions of the nation-state ROTHMAN, In most Luxembourgish communes in the 19 th and beginning 20 th centuries, school buildings were built near churches and were connected to them by a narrow path.
The construction boom in the s and s brought forth new complex architectural relationships with school buildings, such as spatial interactions with saving banks, post offices, and community houses. Deficiencies of school buildings were brought in correlation with a moral deficit. For instance, schools were criticized for having too many classrooms aligned along too narrow corridors:.
These moral features attributed to school buildings show how persistent the 19 th century notion of the nation-state as a moral nation was in the 20 th century. In the s, less obvious but not less intense, it was expected that the school building should teach the child to shape the milieu by him - or herself, making it better, more beautiful and more valuable. School buildings also worked as tools for anchoring citizens.
Until the late 19th century, schools were at any case placed in non-commercial spaces, in civic zones with other public buildings or in domestic, residential zones intending to attract young families to the suburbs. The school buildings were for instance integrated into the official statistics, which provided the inspectors with concrete criteria to make classrooms comparable and evaluate schools.
Yet, despite these prescriptions, many school construction plans were approved without the documents. These measures were more likely to establish objective procedures involving official expertise than decision-making, supposedly aiming at overcoming intranational tensions between different occupational groups and stakeholders. The reports about school buildings also reveal that their construction was not at all purely rational, but indeed acknowledged other public dimensions of the school system, yet in a more implicit and less representational way.
This reveals another aspect, the school building as the local community core. New primary and middle schools were built between and to favour a nationwide consistent school distribution. Vaud introduced the legislative popular initiative in Berne introduced the legislative optional referendum in the same year. The political crisis of the Regeneration period culminated in the Sonderbund War of November As a result of the Sonderbund War, Switzerland was transformed into a federal state , with a constitution promulgated on 12 September This constitution provided for the cantons' sovereignty, as long as this did not impinge on the Federal Constitution.
The creation of a bicameral assembly was consciously inspired by the United States Constitution , the National Council and Council of States corresponding to the House of Representatives and Senate , respectively. The Constitution of was partly revised in , and wholly revised in This latter constitutional change introduced the referendum at the federal level. In a partial revision of , the " right of initiative " was introduced, under which a certain number of voters could make a request to amend a constitutional article, or even to introduce a new article into the constitution.
This mechanism is called federal popular initiative. Thus, partial revisions of the constitution could — from this time onward — be made at any time. Twelve such changes were made in the period of to with no changes during the thirty-year period of — : . The Federal Constitution was wholly revised for the second time in the s, and the new version was approved by popular and cantonal vote on 18 April It came into force on 1 January The Constitution of Switzerland consists of a Preamble and 6 Parts, which together make up Articles.
It provides an explicit provision for nine fundamental rights, which up until then had only been discussed and debated in the Federal Court. It also provides for greater details in tax laws. The Constitution of has been changed by popular initiative ten times in the period of to , as follows: . This article is part of the series: Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April The preamble and the first title of the Constitution determine the general outlines of Switzerland as a democratic federal republic of 26 cantons governed by the rule of law.
The preamble opens with a solemn invocation of God in continuance of Swiss constitutional tradition. It is a mandate to the State authorities by the Swiss people and cantons, as the Confederation's constituent powers, to adhere to the values listed in the preamble, which include " liberty and democracy , independence and peace in solidarity and openness towards the world". The latter provision about the "openness" present a drastic contrast with the previous Swiss constitutions which were mostly oriented toward the internal isolationism.
The new preamble also provides a provision about responsibility before and the rights of the future generations of the people of Switzerland. The general provisions contained in Title 1 articles 1—6 define the characteristic traits of the Swiss state on all of its three levels of authority: federal, cantonal and municipal. They contain an enumeration of the constituent cantons, affirm cantonal sovereignty within the bounds of the Constitution and list the national languages — German , French , Italian and Romansh.
They also commit the state to the principles of obedience to law, proportionality , good faith and respect for international law , an explicit claim for subsidiarity , before closing with a reference to individual responsibility. Title 2 contains the Constitution's bill of rights and consists of 35 articles. The constitution contained only a limited number of fundamental rights , and some of them grew less significant as the 20th century wore on, such as the right to a decent burial guaranteed in article 53 of the old constitution.
In consequence, the Swiss Federal Supreme Court 's extensive case law developed an array of implicit or "unwritten" fundamental rights, drawing upon the case law of the European Court of Human Rights and applying the fundamental rights guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights ECHR , which Switzerland ratified in In the course of the constitutional revision, the Federal Assembly decided to codify that case law in the form of a comprehensive bill of rights, which is substantially congruent with the rights guaranteed in the ECHR, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Title 2 also covers the essential rules on the acquisition of Swiss citizenship and of the exercise of political rights.