Switzerland and its cantons international obligations

Should there be any doubt about my previous post on the subject ...

I had stumbled upon a most interesting document about the VCLT on the web site of the International Review of the Red Cross titled The Vienna Convention of 1969 on the Law of Treaties and Humanitarian Law. It reads like a love letter to Switzerland, and it triggered my attention. If indeed Switzerland is so important to the VCLT, then it must be found on Swiss authorities web pages.

And sure, not only much is to be found there ... the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Directorate of International Law (DIL) elaborated a 60 page document titled: Practice Guide to International Treaties

The present Guide describes as completely as possible the rules and practice followed by Switzerland in the field of treaties.

It is a “free” guide. Free is important to be mentioned as in Switzerland you have to pay for everything, including air to breathe and the whip of a legal system to be arbitrarily violated in your most basic human rights.

Oh boy, they have me coming again ... I couldn't be more explicit then their own guide into underlining how international conventions are to be applied before, above and beyond any Swiss law, jurisprudence or praxis.

In fact, I gave them the benefit of the doubt on a few aspects in my previous post, which their own guide confirms against. I WAS WRONG. Switzerland is subordinate without the restraints I though they would call upon. So much for giving them the benefit of the doubt ... Lesson learned, won't give them the benefit of a doubt again.

In the usual copy-paste fashion:

Switzerland adopts a rather restrictive practice in terms of making reservations and attempts, as far as possible, to adopt treaties in their entirety ... The text of the reservations is set out in full in the federal decree. The Federal Council is bound by the decision of the Federal Assembly ... The same applies to declarations. The Swiss Confederation and the cantons shall respect international law. When Switzerland concludes a treaty, it ensures that its international commitments are in line with domestic law or amends this in conformity with international law. If a conflict with domestic law cannot be resolved in this way, the Swiss authorities and courts, in practice, generally agree on the primacy of international law. Subsequent constitutional law which is directly applicable and federal acts through which the Federal Assembly has voluntarily departed from international law are exceptions to this principle. Even in the latter scenario, the international norms on the protection of human rights generally take precedence over domestic law. The same applies to the peremptory norms of international law. In the event of conflict between a treaty norm and an domestic constitutional or legal provision, all state authorities must attempt to resolve this by interpreting domestic law in conformity with the treaty. International law, when it enters into force for Switzerland, automatically acquires validity and binding force under the Swiss legal system. This is the theory of monism which, in contrast to that of dualism, does not require a constituting act of national law, adoption or transformation to give the international norm validity under the domestic system. The Vienna Convention establishes the primacy of international law over domestic law ...

For more then 3 years Swiss authorities, both federal and cantonal, have violated so many articles of so many international conventions I am blue in the face.

I am speechless.

The UN special rapporteurs and Council of Europe controlling bodies must urgently perform country visits to Switzerland.

Tags: #Rights

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