Switzerland: Does the Popular Initiative 'To Expel Foreign Criminals' Respect Peremptory Rules of International Law? (Verletzt die 'Ausschaffungsinitiative' zwingende Bestimmungen des Völkerrechts?)

I Zeitschrift für Schweizerisches Recht / Revue de droit suisse / Rivista di diritto svizzero, Vol. 127, p. 499, 2008

22 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2009 Last revised: 23 Sep 2009

Date Written: October 10, 2008

Abstract

In 2008, the Swiss People’s Party successfully launched a campaign to raise the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum (“popular initiative”) to introduce into the Swiss Federal Constitution a measure to oblige courts to expel foreigners who commit serious crimes once they have served their jail sentence (German: “Ausschaffungsinitiative”; French: “initiative sur le renvoi”). According to the Swiss Federal Constitution, the two chambers of the Federal Parliament declare popular initiatives invalid should they fail to respect “peremptory rules of international law” such as the prohibition of genocide and torture or the principle of “non-refoulememt”. This paper assesses the validity of the said proposal in light of the relevant norms of constitutional and international law. [German with a French summary.]

Keywords: Swiss constitutional law, international, law, jus cogens, direct democracy

JEL Classification: K19, H11

Suggested Citation

Reich, Johannes, Switzerland: Does the Popular Initiative 'To Expel Foreign Criminals' Respect Peremptory Rules of International Law? (Verletzt die 'Ausschaffungsinitiative' zwingende Bestimmungen des Völkerrechts?) (October 10, 2008). I Zeitschrift für Schweizerisches Recht / Revue de droit suisse / Rivista di diritto svizzero, Vol. 127, p. 499, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1471948

Johannes Reich (Contact Author)

University of Zurich ( email )

Faculty of Law
Raemistrasse 74/8
Zurich, 8001
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.ivr.uzh.ch/en/institutsmitglieder/reich.html

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