The Federal Assembly of the Swiss Confederation,
on the basis of Article 123 paragraph 1 of the Federal Constitution1, and having considered the Federal Council Dispatch dated 21 December 20052,
Art. 1 Scope of application
1This Code regulates the prosecution and adjudication by the federal and cantonal criminal justice authorities of offences under federal law.
2The procedural regulations contained in other federal acts are reserved.
Art. 2 Administration of criminal justice
1The administration of criminal justice is the responsibility solely of the authorities specified by law.
2Criminal proceedings may be conducted and concluded only in the forms provided for by law.
Art. 3 Respect for human dignity and requirement of fairness
1The criminal justice authorities shall respect the dignity of the persons affected by the proceedings at all stages of the proceedings.
2They shall in particular comply with:
- the principle of good faith;
- the requirement not to abuse the rights of others;
- the requirement to treat all persons involved in the proceedings equally and fairly and to grant them the right to be heard;
- the prohibition, when taking evidence, of using methods that violate human dignity.
Art. 4 Independence
1The criminal justice authorities are independent in applying the law and bound solely by the law.
2Statutory powers to issue directives to the prosecution authorities under Article 14 are reserved.
Art. 5 Principle of expeditiousness
1The criminal justice authorities shall commence criminal proceedings immediately and conclude them without unjustified delay.
2Where an accused is in detention, the proceedings shall be conducted as a matter of urgency.
Art. 6 Principle of substantive truth
1The criminal justice authorities shall investigate ex officio all the circumstances relevant to the assessment of the criminal act and the accused.
2They shall investigate incriminating and exculpating circumstances with equal care.
Art. 7 Obligation to prosecute
1The criminal justice authorities are obliged to commence and conduct proceedings that fall within their jurisdiction where they are aware of or have grounds for suspecting that an offence has been committed.
2The cantons may provide:
- for the exclusion or limitation of criminal liability for statements made in the cantonal parliament by the members of their legislative and judicial authorities and of their governments;
- that the prosecution of members of their authorities responsible for the execution of sentences and measures and judicial authorities for felonies or misdemeanours committed while in office be made subject to the authorisation of a non-judicial authority.
Art. 8 Waiving prosecution
1The public prosecutor and courts shall waive prosecution if the federal law so permits, in particular subject to the requirements of Articles 52, 53 and 54 of the Swiss Criminal Code1 (SCC).
2Unless it is contrary to the private claimant's overriding interests, they shall also waive prosecution if:
- the offence is of negligible importance in comparison with the other offences with which the accused is charged as regards the expected sentence or measure;
- any additional penalty imposed in combination with the sentence in the final judgment would be negligible;
- an equivalent sentence imposed abroad would have to be taken into account when imposing a sentence for the offence prosecuted.
3Unless it is contrary to the private claimant's overriding interests, the public prosecutor and courts may waive the prosecution if the offence is already being prosecuted by a foreign authority or the prosecution has been assigned to such an authority.
4In such cases, they shall issue an order stating that no proceedings are being taking or that the ongoing proceedings have been abandoned.
Art. 9 Principle of no judgment without a charge
1An offence may only be judicially assessed if the public prosecutor has brought a related charge against a specific person in the competent court based on precisely described circumstances.
2The foregoing paragraph does not apply to proceedings relating to summary penalty orders and contraventions.
Art. 10 Presumption of innocence and assessment of evidence
1Every person is presumed to be innocent until they have been convicted in a judgment that is final and legally binding.
2The court shall be free to interpret the evidence in accordance with the views that it forms over the entire proceedings.
3Where there is insurmountable doubt as to whether the factual requirements of alleged offence have been fulfilled, the court shall proceed on the assumption that the circumstances more favourable to the accused occurred.
Art. 11 Prohibition of double jeopardy
1No person who has been convicted or acquitted in Switzerland by a final legally binding judgment may be prosecuted again for the same offence.
2The foregoing paragraph does not apply to proceedings that have been waived or abandoned and to the review of a case.
Art. 12 Prosecution authorities
The prosecution authorities are:
- the police;
- the public prosecutor;
- the authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions.
Art. 13 Courts
The following bodies have judicial powers in criminal proceedings:
- the compulsory measures court;
- the court of first instance;
- the objections authority;
- the court of appeal.
Art. 14 Titles and organisation of the criminal justice authorities
1The Confederation and the cantons shall determine their own criminal justice authorities and the titles that they use.
2They shall regulate the composition, organisation and powers of the criminal justice authorities and the appointment of their members, unless this Code or other federal acts regulate the same in full.
3They may establish the offices of a chief public prosecutor or attorney general.
4They may establish two or more similar criminal justice authorities and specify the local or material jurisdiction of each; exempted therefrom are the objections authority and the court of appeal.
5They shall regulate the supervision of their criminal justice authorities.
Art. 15 Police
1The activities of the federal, cantonal and communal police in prosecution matters are governed by this Code.
2The police investigate offences on their own initiative, in response to reports from members of the public and from authorities, and on the instructions of the public prosecutor; in doing so, they are subject to the supervision and the directives of the public prosecutor.
3Where criminal proceedings are pending before a court, the court may issue the police with instructions and assignments.
Art. 16 Public prosecutor
1The public prosecutor is responsible for the uniform exercise of the state's right to punish criminal conduct.
2It conducts preliminary proceedings, pursues offences within the scope of the investigation, and where applicable brings charges and acts as prosecutor.
Art. 17 Authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions
1The Confederation and the cantons may delegate the prosecution and adjudication of contraventions to administrative authorities.
2Where contraventions are committed in connection with a felony or misdemeanour, they shall be prosecuted by the public prosecutor and judged by the courts at the same time as the more serious offence.
Art. 18 Compulsory measures court
1The compulsory measures court is responsible for ordering the accused's remand or preventive detention and, where this Code so provides, for ordering or approving additional compulsory measures.
2Members of the compulsory measures court may not sit as judge in the main hearing in the same case.
Art. 19 Court of first instance
1The court of first instance assesses, as the first instance, all offences that do not fall within the jurisdiction of other authorities.
2The Confederation and the cantons may provide that the court of first instance comprise one judge sitting alone to assess:
- felonies and misdemeanours, with exception of those for which the public prosecutor demands a custodial sentence of more than two years, indefinite incarceration in terms of Article 64 SCC1, treatment in terms of Article 59 paragraph 3 SCC or, in the case of suspended sanctions to be revoked simultaneously, a deprivation of liberty of more than two years.
Art. 20 Objections authority
1The objections authority rules on objections against the procedural acts and decisions not subject to formal appeal:
- of the courts of first instance;
- of the police, the public prosecutor and the authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions;
- of the compulsory measures court in the cases provided for by this Code.
2The Confederation and the cantons may assign the powers of the objections authority to the court of appeal.
Art. 21 Court of appeal
1The court of appeal decides on:
- appeals against judgments of the courts of first instance;
- applications for the review of a case.
2Any person who has acted as a member of the objections authority may not sit as a member of the court of appeal in the same case.
3Any person who has acted as a member of the court of appeal in a specific case may not act as a judge reviewing the same case.
Art. 22 Cantonal jurisdiction
The cantonal criminal justice authorities shall prosecute and judge offences under federal law, subject to the statutory exceptions.
Art. 23 Federal jurisdiction in general
1The following offences in the SCC1 are subject to federal jurisdiction:
- the offences in Titles One and Four and Articles 140, 156, 189 and 190 insofar as they are committed against persons protected by international law, members of the Federal Council, the Federal Chancellor or judges of the Federal Courts, members the Federal Assembly, the Federal Attorney General or the Deputy Attorneys General;
- the offences in Articles 137–141, 144, 160 and 172ter insofar as they relate to premises, archives or documents of diplomatic missions and consulates;
- the taking of hostages in terms of Article 185 in order to exert duress on federal or foreign authorities;
- felonies and misdemeanours under Article 224–226ter;
- the felonies and misdemeanours in Title Ten relating to coinage, paper money and banknotes, official stamps and other federal marks, weights and measures;
- the felonies and misdemeanours in Title Eleven insofar as they relate to official federal documents, with the exception of driving licences and receipts for postal money transfers; not included are vignettes for using first and second class national highways;
- the offences in Title Twelvebis and Twelveter as well as Article 264k;
- the offences in Article 260bis and in Titles Thirteen to Fifteen and in Title Seventeen, provided they are directed against the Confederation, the authorities of the Confederation, the will of the People in federal elections, popular votes, requests for a referendum or initiatives, against federal powers or against the administration of federal justice;
- the felonies and misdemeanours in Title Sixteen;
- the offences in Titles Eighteen and Nineteen insofar as they are committed by a member of an authority or an employee of the Confederation or against the Confederation;
- the contraventions in Articles 329–331;
- political felonies and misdemeanours that are the cause or consequence of unrest that gives rise to armed federal intervention.
2The regulations contained in special federal acts on the jurisdiction of the Federal Criminal Court are reserved.
1 SR 311.0
2 Amended by Annex No II 7 of the Criminal Justice Authorities Act of 19 March 2010, in force since 1 Jan. 2011 (AS 2010 3267; BBl 2008 8125).
3 Amended by Annex No II 1 of the Fixed Penalties Act of 18 March 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2018 (AS 2017 6559; BBl 2015 959).
4 Amended by No I 3 of the FA of 18 June 2010 on the Amendment of Federal Legislation in Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, in force since 1 Jan. 2011 (AS 2010 4963; BBl 2008 3863).
Art. 24 Federal jurisdiction in the case of organised crime, terrorist financing and white-collar crime
1Federal jurisdiction further applies to the offences in Articles 260ter, 260quinquies, 305bis, 305ter and 322ter–322septies SCC1 as well as the felonies associated with a criminal organisation as defined in Article 260ter SCC, if the offences:
- have to substantial extent been committed abroad;
- have been committed in two or more cantons with no single canton being the clear focus of the criminal activity.
2In the case of felonies under Titles Two and Eleven of the SCC, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland may open an investigation if:
- the requirements of paragraph 1 are fulfilled; and
- no cantonal criminal justice authority is dealing with the case or if the competent cantonal criminal justice authority requests the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland to take over the case.
3The opening of an investigation in accordance with paragraph 2 establishes federal jurisdiction.
Art. 25 Delegation to the cantons
1The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland may assign a criminal case subject to federal jurisdiction in terms of Article 23 to the cantonal authorities for investigation and adjudication or, by way of exception, for assessment only. Exempted therefrom are criminal cases in terms of Article 23 paragraph 1 letter g.
2In minor cases, it may also assign a criminal case subject to federal jurisdiction in terms of Article 24 to the cantonal authorities for investigation and adjudication.
Art. 26 Multiple jurisdiction
1If the offence was committed in two or more cantons or abroad or if offenders, co-offenders, or participants are domiciled or habitually resident in different cantons, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland shall decide which canton investigates and adjudicates the case.
2If a criminal case is subject to both federal and cantonal jurisdiction, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland may instruct the proceedings to be combined and dealt with by the federal authorities or the cantonal authorities.
3Jurisdiction established in accordance with paragraph 2 continues to apply even if that part of the proceedings that established jurisdiction has been abandoned.
4Where delegation in accordance with this Chapter is an option, the public prosecutors of the Confederation and the cantons shall provide each other with their respective files. Once the decision is made, the files shall be passed to the authority that must investigate and adjudicate the case.
Art. 27 Jurisdiction over the initial enquiries
1Where a case is subject to federal jurisdiction, the matter is urgent and the federal criminal justice authorities are not yet involved, the police enquiries and the investigation may also be conducted by the cantonal authorities that have local jurisdiction under the rules on place of jurisdiction. The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland must be notified immediately; the case must be transferred to the OAG or referred for a decision in terms of Articles 25 or 26 as soon as possible.
2In the case of offences that have been committed wholly or partly in two or more cantons or abroad and for which federal or cantonal jurisdiction has not yet been established, the federal criminal justice authorities may conduct the initial enquiries.
Art. 28 Conflicts
In the event of conflicts between the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland and cantonal criminal justice authorities, the Federal Criminal Court shall decide.
Art. 29 Principle of unity of proceedings
1Offences shall be prosecuted and adjudicated together where:
- one person is accused of two or more offences; or
- the case involves co-offending or participation.
2Where one or more of multiple offences are subject to federal jurisdiction or multiple offences have been committed in different cantons and by two or more persons, Articles 25 and 33–38 take precedence.
Art. 30 Exceptions
The public prosecutor and the courts may separate or combine criminal proceedings for practical reasons.
Art. 31 Place of jurisdiction of the place of commission
1The authorities of the locus of criminal act was committed have jurisdiction to prosecute and adjudicate the offence. If it is only the outcome of the offence that occurs in Switzerland, the authorities at the place where it occurs have jurisdiction.
2Where the offence is committed in two or more places or if the outcome occurs in two or more places, the authorities in the place where the initial prosecution procedures are carried out have jurisdiction.
3Where an accused has committed two or more felonies, misdemeanours or contraventions in the same locus, the various proceedings shall be combined.
Art. 32 Place of jurisdiction for offences committed abroad or at an unknown location
1Where an offence was committed abroad or if the place of commission cannot be established, the authorities of the place where the accused is domiciled or habitually resident has jurisdiction to prosecute and adjudicate the offence.
2If the accused is neither domiciled nor habitually resident in Switzerland, the authorities at his or her place of origin have jurisdiction; in the absence of a place of origin, the authorities of the place where the accused was found have jurisdiction.
3In the absence of a place of jurisdiction in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2, authorities of the Canton requesting extradition have jurisdiction.
Art. 33 Place of jurisdiction in the case of two or more participants
1The participants in an offence shall be prosecuted and adjudicated by the same authorities as the principal offender.
2If an offence has been committed by two or more co-offenders, the authorities of the place where the initial prosecution procedures were carried out have jurisdiction.
Art. 34 Place of jurisdiction where two or more offences are committed at different loci
1Where an accused has committed two or more offences at different loci, the authorities of the place where the offence that carries the most severe penalty was committed have jurisdiction to prosecute and adjudicate all offences. Where two or more offences carry the same penalty, the authorities of the place where the initial prosecution procedures were carried out have jurisdiction.
2Where charges have already been brought in a participant canton in respect of one of the offences at the time of the procedure to establish jurisdiction in accordance with Articles 39–42, the proceedings shall be conducted separately.
3Where a person is sentenced by different courts to two or more similar penalties, the court that has imposed the most severe penalty shall on application impose a cumulative sentence on the convicted person.
Art. 35 Place of jurisdiction for offences via the media
1In the case of an offence under Article 28 SCC1 committed in Switzerland, the authorities of the place where the media undertaking has its registered office have jurisdiction.
2If the author is known and if he or she is domiciled or habitually resident in Switzerland, the authorities at the domicile or the place of habitual residence have jurisdiction. In such a case, the proceedings shall be conducted where the initial prosecution procedures were carried out. In the case of offences prosecuted only on complaint, the complainant may choose between the two places of jurisdiction.
3Where no place of jurisdiction is established by paragraphs 1 or 2, the authorities of the place where the media product is broadcast have jurisdiction. If broadcasting takes place in two or more places, the authorities of the place where the initial prosecution procedures were carried out have jurisdiction.
Art. 36 Place of jurisdiction in the case of Debt Enforcement and Bankruptcy offences and criminal proceedings against corporate undertakings
1In the case of offences in accordance with Articles 163–171bis SCC1, the authorities at the domicile, place of habitual residence or registered office of the debtor have jurisdiction responsible.
2For criminal proceedings against a corporate undertaking in terms of Article 102 SCC, the authorities at the registered office of the undertaking have jurisdiction. The foregoing also applies if a person acting for the undertaking is also being prosecuted for the same offence.
3In the absence of a place of jurisdiction in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2, jurisdiction is established in accordance with Articles 31–35.
Art. 37 Place of jurisdiction for separate forfeiture proceedings
1Separate forfeiture proceedings (Art. 376–378) must be carried out in the place where the items or assets to be forfeited are located.
2If the items or assets to be forfeited are located in two or more cantons and if they are connected to the same offence or offender, the authorities of the place where the forfeiture proceedings were initiated has jurisdiction.
Art. 38 Establishing an alternative place of jurisdiction
1The public prosecutors may by mutual agreement establish a place of jurisdiction other than that provided for in Articles 31–37 if this is justified by the focus of the criminal activity, the personal circumstances of the accused or other just cause.
2In order to safeguard the procedural rights of a party, after charges have been filed, the cantonal objections authority may on application from that party or ex officio transfer the adjudication to another court of first instance in the same canton with material jurisdiction in derogation from the rules on place of jurisdiction in this Chapter.
Art. 39 Verification of and agreement on jurisdiction
1The criminal justice authorities shall verify their jurisdiction ex officio and if necessary transfer the case to the competent authority.
2Where two or more criminal justice authorities have local jurisdiction, the public prosecutors concerned shall notify each other immediately of the essential elements of the case and endeavour to reach agreement as soon as possible.
Art. 40 Conflicts of jurisdiction
1In the event of a dispute over jurisdiction between criminal justice authorities in the same canton, the Office of the Chief Cantonal Prosecutor or Cantonal Attorney General shall make the final decision or, if there is no such office, the cantonal objections authority.
2In the event of a dispute over jurisdiction between criminal justice authorities in different cantons, the public prosecutor of the canton that was first to deal with the matter shall submit the issue immediately, and in every case before bringing charges, to the Federal Criminal Court for decision.
3The authority competent to decide on the place of jurisdiction may specify a place of jurisdiction other than that provided for in Articles 31–37 if this is required due to the focus of the criminal activity or the personal circumstances of the accused or if there is other just cause.
Art. 41 Contesting the place of jurisdiction
1If a party wishes to contest the jurisdiction of the authority conducting the criminal proceedings, he or she must immediately request the authority to transfer the case to the competent criminal justice authority.
2The parties may file an objection within 10 days with the authority responsible for the decision on the place of jurisdiction in terms of Article 40 against the decision on the place of jurisdiction (Art. 39 para. 2) made by the public prosecutors concerned. If the public prosecutors have agreed on an alternative place of jurisdiction (Art. 38 para. 1), only the party whose request under paragraph 1 is rejected has the right to file an objection.
Art. 42 Common provisions
1Until a binding decision is made on the place of jurisdiction, the first authority to deal with the case shall carry out any measures that cannot be delayed. If necessary the authority responsible for the decision on the place of jurisdiction shall designate the authority that must provisionally deal with the matter.
2Persons who have been arrested shall only be transferred to the authorities of other cantons when a binding decision on jurisdiction has been made.
3A place of jurisdiction established in accordance with Articles 38–41 may be changed only if good cause has subsequently arisen before charges have been brought.
Art. 43 Scope of application and definition
1The provisions this Chapter regulate mutual assistance in criminal matters provided by federal and cantonal authorities to public prosecutors, authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions and federal and cantonal courts.
2In relation to the police, these provisions apply to the extent that the police are acting on instructions from public prosecutors, authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions and courts.
3Direct mutual assistance between police authorities at federal and cantonal levels and between two or more cantonal police authorities is permitted provided it does not relate to compulsory measures that fall within the exclusive competence of the public prosecutor or the court.
4Mutual assistance is deemed to be any measure requested by an authority within the scope of their competence in ongoing criminal proceedings.
Art. 44 Obligation to provide mutual assistance
The federal and cantonal authorities are obliged to provide mutual assistance in respect of offences being prosecuted and adjudicated under federal law in application of this Code.
1 The correction by the Federal Assembly Drafting Committee dated 10 Nov. 2014, published on 25 Nov. 2014 relates only to the French text (AS 2014 4071).
Art. 45 Support
1The cantons shall, to the extent that it is required and possible, provide the criminal justice authorities of the Confederation and other cantons with rooms in which to carry out their official duties and for the accommodation of persons detained pending the main hearing.
2At the request of the federal criminal justice authorities, the cantons shall take the measures required to guarantee the security of the official duties of these authorities.
Art. 46 Direct communication
1The authorities shall communicate directly with each other1.
2Requests for mutual assistance may be filed in the language of the requesting or the requested authority.
3If there is any uncertainty as to which authority has jurisdiction, the requesting authority shall file the request for mutual assistance with the highest public prosecutor of the requested Canton or of the Confederation. This service shall pass the request on to the relevant office.
1 Details of the competent local Swiss justice authority for mutual assistance requests may be obtained from the following website: www.elorge.admin.ch
Art. 47 Costs
1Mutual assistance is provided free of charge.
2The Confederation shall reimburse the cantons the costs of support as defined in Article 45 that it has caused them to incur.
3Notice shall be given to the requesting canton or the Confederation of any costs that have arisen in order that they may be charged to the parties liable to pay costs.
4The requesting canton or the Confederation shall bear any obligations to pay damages arising from mutual assistance measures.
Art. 48 Disputes
1The objections authority in the relevant canton shall make a final decision on any dispute over mutual assistance between authorities of the same canton.
2The Federal Criminal Court decides on conflicts between federal and cantonal authorities as well as between authorities of different cantons.
Art. 49 Principles
1The federal and cantonal public prosecutors and courts may request the criminal justice authorities of other cantons or of the Confederation to carry out procedural acts. The requested authority shall not examine whether the requested procedural acts are admissible or equitable.
2The authorities of the requesting Canton or of the Confederation have jurisdiction to hear appeals against mutual assistance measures. Only the implementation of the mutual assistance measures may be contested before the authorities of the requested Canton or of the Confederation.
Art. 50 Request for compulsory measures
1The requesting authority shall request that a person be arrested with a written warrant for an enforced appearance (Art. 208).
2If possible, the requested authority shall hand over the arrested persons within 24 hours.
3Applications for other compulsory measures must include a brief notice of the grounds. In cases of urgency, notice of the grounds may be provided later.
Art. 51 Right to participate
1The parties, their legal agents and the requesting authority may participate in the requested procedural acts, insofar as this Code provides therefor.
2If participation is possible, the requested authority shall notify the requesting authority, the parties and their legal agents as to where and when the procedural act will be carried out.
Art. 52 Principles
1Federal and cantonal public prosecutors, authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions and courts are entitled to order and carry out any of the procedural acts specified in this Code directly in another canton.
2Prior notice shall be given to the public prosecutor of the canton in which the procedural act is to be carried out. In cases of urgency, subsequent notice is possible. No notice is required for obtaining information and for requesting the handover of files.
3The costs of the procedural acts and any related obligations to pay damages shall be borne by the Confederation or the canton carrying out the act; it may charge the costs to the parties in accordance with Articles 426 and 427.
Art. 53 Using the services of the police
If the requesting authority requires the support of the police in order to carry out a procedural act, it shall make the relevant request to the public prosecutor of the requested Canton, which shall issue the necessary instructions to the local police.
Art. 54 Scope of Application of this Code
The provision of international mutual assistance and the mutual assistance proceedings are governed by this Code only to the extent that other federal acts and international agreements make no provision therefor.
Art. 55 Jurisdiction
1Where a canton is involved in a case of international mutual assistance, the public prosecutor has jurisdiction.
2During the main hearing, the courts may themselves submit requests for mutual assistance.
3The powers of the authorities responsible for the execution of sentences and measures are reserved.
4Where federal law assigns mutual assistance duties to a judicial authority, the objections authority has jurisdiction.
5Where a canton dealing with a request for mutual assistance from abroad carries out procedural acts in other cantons, the provisions on domestic mutual assistance apply.
6The cantons shall regulate any additional procedures.
Art. 56 Grounds for recusal
A person acting for a criminal justice authority shall recuse him- or herself if he or she:
- has a personal interest in the case;
- has acted in another capacity in the same case, and in particular as a member of an authority, as the legal agent for a party, as an expert witness, or as a witness;
- is married to, or living in a registered partnership or cohabiting with a party, his or her legal agent or a person who has acted as a member of the lower court;
- is related to a party by birth or by marriage directly or collaterally up to and including the third degree;
- is related to the legal agent of a party or of a person who acted in the same case as a member of the lower court directly or collaterally up to and including the second degree;
- may not be impartial for other reasons, in particular due to friendship or enmity with a party or his or her legal agent.
Art. 57 Duty to notify
Where a person acting for a criminal justice authority has grounds for recusal, that person shall notify the director of proceedings in good time.
Art. 58 Recusal request by a party
1If a party requests that a person acting for a criminal justice authority be recuse him- or herself, the party must submit the relevant application to the director of proceedings as soon as he or she becomes aware of the grounds for recusal; the circumstances justifying recusal must be credibly substantiated.
2The person concerned shall respond to the application.
Art. 59 Decision
1If grounds for recusal in terms of Article 56 letter a or f are claimed or if a person acting for a criminal justice authority opposes a party application for recusal based on Article 56 letters b–e, the following authorities shall issue a final decision without taking additional evidence:
- the public prosecutor if matter relates to the police;
- the objections authority if the matter relates to the public prosecutor, the authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions or the courts of first instance;
- the court of appeal if the matter relates to the objections authority or individual members of the court of appeal;
- the Federal Criminal Court if the matter relates to an entire cantonal court of appeal.
2The decision shall be issued in writing and with a statement of reasons.
3Until the decision is issued, the person concerned shall continue to exercise his office.
4If the application is approved, the procedural costs are borne by the Confederation or the canton. If it is rejected or was clearly submitted too late or vexatious, the costs are borne by the applicant.
1 Amended by No II 3 of the FA of 17 March 2017 (Creation of an Appeals Chamber in the Federal Criminal Court), in force since 1 Jan. 2019 (AS 2017 5769; BBl 2013 7109, 2016 6199).
Art. 60 Consequences of violating the recusal regulations
1Where a person subject to recusal has participated in official acts, these acts must be annulled and repeated if so requested by a party within 5 days of becoming aware of the decision on recusal.
2Evidence that cannot be taken again may be taken into consideration by the criminal justice authority.
3If the ground for recusal comes to light only after conclusion of the proceedings, the provisions on the review of cases apply.
Art. 61 Jurisdiction
The persons responsible for directing the proceedings are:
- until proceedings are abandoned or charges are brought: the public prosecutor;
- in contravention proceedings: the authority responsible for prosecuting contraventions;
- in court proceedings before two or more judges: the president of the court concerned;
- in court proceedings before one judge sitting alone: the judge.
Art. 62 General duties
1The director of proceedings makes the arrangements required to guarantee the lawful and orderly conduct of the proceedings.
2In court proceedings before two or more judges, the director of proceedings holds all the powers that are not reserved to the court.
Art. 63 Measures to ensure order in court
1The director of proceedings shall ensure security, quiet and order during the hearings.
2The director of proceedings may warn any person who disrupts the hearings or breaches the rules of respectable behaviour. In the event of any repetition, he or she may deny them the right to speak, order them to leave the court and if necessary have them held in police custody until the conclusion of the hearing. He or she may order that the court be cleared.
3The director of proceedings may request the assistance of the police at the place where the proceedings are being held.
4If a party is excluded from the court, the proceedings shall nevertheless be continued.
Art. 64 Disciplinary measures
1The director of proceedings may order a person who disrupts the hearings, breaches the rules of respectable behaviour or disregards procedural orders to pay a fixed penalty fine of up to 1000 francs.
2Fixed penalty fines imposed by the public prosecutor and the courts of first instance may be challenged before the objections authority within 10 days. Its decision is final.
Art. 65 Right of appeal against procedural orders issued by the court
1Procedural orders issued by the court may only be challenged when the final judgment is issued.
2If the director of proceedings in a court with two or more judges has issued procedural orders before the main hearing, the court may amend or revoke such orders ex officio or on request.
Art. 66 Requirement of oral proceedings
Proceedings before the criminal justice authorities shall be conducted orally unless this Code provides for written proceedings.
Art. 67 Language of the proceedings
1The Confederation and the cantons shall determine the languages to be used by their criminal justice authorities in proceedings.
2The cantonal criminal justice authorities shall carry out all procedural acts in the languages that they use in proceedings; the director of proceedings may permit exceptions.
Art. 68 Translation and interpretation
1Where a party to the proceedings does not understand the language of the proceedings or is unable to express him- or herself adequately, the director of proceedings shall appoint an interpreter. In minor or urgent cases, the director of proceedings may, if the person concerned consents, dispense with appointing an interpreter provided the director of proceedings and the clerk of court have an adequate command of the foreign language concerned.
2Even if he or she has a defence lawyer, the accused shall be notified in a language that he or she understands, either orally or in writing, of at least the essential content of the most important procedural acts. There is no right to have all procedural acts and files translated in full.
3Files that are not submissions made by parties shall, if required, be translated in writing or orally translated for the record of proceedings.
4A person of the same sex must be appointed to translate questions to be put to the victim of a sexual offence where the victim so requests and it is possible without causing an unreasonable delay to the proceedings.
5The provisions on expert witnesses (Art. 73, 105, 182–191) apply mutatis mutandis to translators and interpreters.
Art. 69 Principles
1Proceedings before the court of first instance and the court of appeal, together with the oral passing of judgments and decrees of these courts shall, with the exception of the judges' deliberations, be conducted in public.
2If the parties to such cases have waived their right to the public passing of judgment, or if a summary penalty order is issued, interested persons may inspect the judgments and summary penalty orders.
3The following proceedings are not conducted in public:
- preliminary proceedings, with the exception of public announcements made by the criminal justice authorities;
- proceedings before the compulsory measures court;
- proceedings before the objections authority and, in cases where they are conducted in writing, before the court of appeal;
- summary penalty order proceedings.
4Public hearings are open to all members of the public; however, persons under 16 years of age shall only be admitted with the permission of the director of proceedings.
Art. 70 Restrictions on and exclusion of public access
1The court may completely or partly exclude members of the public from court hearings if:
- public safety or order or the legitimate interests of a person involved, and in particular the victim, so require;
- too many members of the public wish access to the court.
2If members of the public are excluded, the accused, the victim and private claimants may each be accompanied by a maximum of three confidants.
3Subject to specific requirements, the court may allow court reporters and additional persons with a legitimate interest access to proceedings that are private in accordance with paragraph 1.
4If members of the public are excluded, the court shall pass judgement at a public hearing or shall if required inform the public of the outcome of the proceedings in another suitable manner.
Art. 71 Video and audio recordings
1It is not permitted to make video or audio recordings within the court building or to make such recordings of procedural acts carried out outside the court building.
2Persons infringing the foregoing paragraph may be liable to a fixed penalty fine in accordance with Article 64 paragraph 1. Unauthorised recordings may be confiscated.
Art. 72 Court reporting
The Confederation and the cantons may regulate the accreditation and rights and obligations of court reporters.
Art. 73 Duty of confidentiality
1Members of criminal justice authorities, their employees and experts appointed by criminal justice authorities shall treat as confidential information that comes to their knowledge in the exercise of their official duties.
2The director of proceedings may require private claimants and other persons involved in the proceedings and their legal agents, under caution as to Article 292 SCC1, to maintain confidentiality with regard to the proceedings and the persons concerned if the object of the proceedings or a private interest so requires. A time limit must be placed on this obligation.
Art. 74 Information to the public
1The public prosecutor, the courts and, with the consent of the courts, the police may provide the public with information on pending proceedings where this is required:
- so that the public may assist in enquiries into offences or in locating suspects;
- to warn or reassure the public;
- to correct inaccurate reports or rumours;
- due to the special importance of a case.
2The police may also inform the public on their own initiative about accidents and offences without naming the persons involved.
3When providing information to the public, the presumption of innocence and the personal privacy of the persons concerned must be observed.
4In cases involving a victim, authorities and private individuals may only identify the victim or provide information that enables his or her identification outside public court proceedings if:
- the assistance of the public in enquiries into a felony or in tracing suspects is required; or
- the victim or his or her survivors consent.
Art. 75 Communications with other authorities
1Where an accused is serving a sentence or subject to a criminal measure, the criminal justice authorities shall inform the authorities responsible for the execution of sentences or measures of any new criminal proceedings and any decisions issued.
2The criminal justice authorities shall inform the social services and child and adult protection authorities of any criminal proceedings that have been initiated and of any decisions in criminal proceedings if this is required for the protection of an accused or a person suffering harm or his or her next-of-kin.1
3If they establish in the prosecution of offences in which minors are involved that further measures are required, they shall inform the child protection authorities immediately.2
3bisThe director of proceedings shall notify the Defence Group of pending criminal proceedings against members of the armed forces or potential conscripts if there are serious indications or other evidence that the person concerned could use a firearm to harm themselves or other persons.3
4The Confederation and the cantons may require or authorise the criminal justice authorities to make further communications to authorities.
1 Amended by Annex No 2 of the FA of 15 Dec. 2017 (Child Protection), in force since 1 Jan. 2019 (AS 2018 2947; BBl 2015 3431).
2 Amended by Annex No 2 of the FA of 15 Dec. 2017 (Child Protection), in force since 1 Jan. 2019 (AS 2018 2947; BBl 2015 3431).
3 Inserted by No I 2 of the FA of 25 Sept. 2015 on Improving the Exchange of Information between Authorities in relation to Weapons, (AS 2016 1831; BBl 2014 303). Amended by Annex No 3 of the FA of 18 March 2016, in force since 1 Jan. 2018 (AS 2016 4277, 2017 2297; BBl 2014 6955).
Art. 76 General Provisions
1The statements of the parties, the oral decisions of the authorities and any other procedural acts that are not carried out in writing shall be recorded.
2The clerk of court, the director of proceedings and, where applicable, the interpreter or translator shall confirm the accuracy of the record.
3The director of proceedings is responsible for ensuring that procedural acts are completely and correctly recorded.
4He or she may order that an audio or video recording of all or part of a procedural act be made, in addition to its being recorded in writing. He or she shall give those present advance notice of such a recording.
Art. 77 Records of proceedings
The records of proceedings contain details of all the essential procedural acts and in particular provide information on:
- the nature, place, date and time of the procedural acts;
- the names of the participant members of authorities, the parties, their legal agents and any other persons present;
- the applications of the parties;
- the caution given regarding the rights and obligations of the persons examined;
- the statements made by the persons examined;
- the course of events in the proceedings, the instructions given by the criminal justice authority and compliance with the formal requirements for the individual procedural acts;
- the files and other evidence submitted by the persons involved in the proceedings or otherwise produced in the criminal proceedings;
- the decisions and the grounds therefor, unless these are separately included in the files.
Art. 78 Records of hearings
1The statements of the parties, witnesses, persons providing information and expert witnesses shall be recorded as they are made.
2The record is made in the language of the proceedings, but important statements must if possible be recorded in the language in which the person examined makes them.
3Decisive questions and answers shall be recorded verbatim.
4The director of proceedings may permit the person examined to dictate his or her own statements.
5On conclusion of the examination hearing, the record shall be read out to the person examined or given to him or her to read. Once aware of its content, the person examined must sign the record and initial each page. If he or she refuses to read or sign the record, the refusal and reasons given for doing so shall be noted in the record.
5bisIf the examination in the main hearing is recorded using technical aids, the court may dispense with reading the transcript back to the person examined and or giving that person the transcript to read and sign. The recordings are placed in the case files.1
6In the case of hearings by means of video conference, the person examined shall make an oral declaration that he or she understands the content of the record instead of signing and initialling the same. The declaration shall be noted in the record.
7If records written by hand are not easily legible or if the statements have been recorded in shorthand, a legible copy shall be prepared immediately. Notes shall be preserved until the conclusion of the proceedings.2
1 Inserted by No I 2 of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012 (Transcription Regulations), in force since 1 May 2013 (AS 2013 851; BBl 2012 5707 5719).
2 Amended by No I 2 of the FA of 28 Sept. 2012 (Transcription Regulations), in force since 1 May 2013 (AS 2013 851; BBl 2012 5707 5719).
Art. 79 Corrections
1Obvious errors shall be corrected by the director of proceedings and the clerk of court; the director of proceedings shall thereafter notify the parties of the corrections.
2The director of proceedings shall decide on requests to have the records corrected.
3Corrections, alterations, deletions and additions shall be certified by the clerk of court and the director of proceedings. Any alterations to the content shall be made in such a manner that the original record remains recognisable.
Art. 80 Form
1Decisions that determine substantive criminal or civil issues are issued in the form of a judgment. Other decisions, if made by a judicial authority comprising two or more members, are issued in the form of a decree, or if they are made by a single person, in the form of a ruling. The provisions on summary penalty order procedures are reserved.
2Decisions are issued in writing and contain a statement of the grounds. They are signed by the director of proceedings and the clerk of court and are served on the parties.
3Simple procedural decrees and rulings do not require to be issued in any specific form or to contain a statement of grounds; they are noted in the case records and notified to the parties in a suitable manner.
Art. 81 Content of final judgments
1Judgments and other decisions concluding proceedings contain:
- an introduction;
- a statement of the grounds;
- if subject to appeal: instructions on appellate remedies.
2The introduction contains:
- details of the criminal justice authority and its members who participated in making the decision;
- the date of the decision;
- sufficient details of the parties and of their legal agents;
- in the case of judgments, the final submissions made by the parties.
3The statement of the grounds contains:
- in the case of judgments: an appraisal of the factual and legal issues relating to the conduct incriminating the accused, and an explanation of why any sanctions, incidental legal orders and costs or damages were imposed;
- in the case of other decisions concluding proceedings: the reasons for concluding the proceedings.
4The conclusions contain:
- details of the statutory provisions;
- in the case of judgments: the verdict and decisions on related sanctions, costs and damages and any civil claims;
- in the case of other decisions concluding proceedings: the order concluding the proceedings;
- the subsequent decisions of the court;
- the decision on the incidental legal orders;
- the details of the persons and authorities who are to receive a copy of the decision or of the conclusions.
Art. 82 Limitations to the duty to state grounds
1The court of first instance shall dispense with a written statement of the grounds if it:
- states the grounds for the judgment orally; and
- it does not impose a custodial sentence of more than two years, indefinite incarceration under Article 64 SCC1, treatment in terms of Article 59 paragraph 3 SCC or, in the case of suspended sanctions to be revoked simultaneously, a deprivation of liberty of more than two years.
2The court shall provide the parties retrospectively with a written judgment stating the grounds if:
- a party requests the same within 10 days of service of the conclusions;
- a party files an appeal.
3If it is only the private claimant who requests a written judgment stating the grounds or who appeals, the court shall provide a statement of grounds only to the extent that this relates to the criminal conduct to the prejudice of the private claimant and to his or her civil claims.
4In the appellate proceedings, the court may refer to the grounds stated by the lower court in its appraisal of the factual and the legal issues in the case.
Art. 83 Explanation and correction of decisions
1If the conclusions to the decision are unclear, contradictory or incomplete, or if they are inconsistent with the grounds, the criminal justice authority that made the decision shall explain or correct the decision on the application of a party or on its own initiative.
2The application must be submitted in writing, indicating the matters that are contested or the amendment that are requested.
3The criminal justice authority shall allow the other parties the opportunity to comment on the application.
4Notice of the explanation for or corrections to the decision shall be given to the parties.
Art. 84 Notice of decisions
1If the proceedings are public, the court shall give notice of the judgment orally on conclusion of its deliberations and state the grounds in brief.
2The court shall provide the parties with a written copy of the conclusions at the end of the main hearing or serve it on the parties within 5 days.
3If the court is unable to issue the judgment immediately, it shall do so as soon as possible and give notice of the judgment in rearranged main hearing. If in such an event the parties waive their right to have the judgment issued publicly, the court shall serve the conclusions of the judgment on them immediately after it has been reached.
4If the court has to state grounds for the judgment, it shall serve the judgment with a full statement of grounds on the accused and the public prosecutor within 60 days, or by way of exception 90 days. The other parties shall be served only with those parts of the judgment in which their applications are mentioned.
5The criminal justice authority shall give notice of simple procedural decrees or rulings to the parties in writing or orally.
6Notice of decisions shall be given to other authorities in accordance with federal and cantonal law, notice of appeal decisions shall also be given to the lower court, and notice of legally binding decisions shall if necessary be given to the authorities responsible for the execution of sentences and measures and to the authorities responsible for the register of convictions.
Art. 85 Form and service of communications
1The criminal justice authorities shall issue communications in writing, unless this Code provides otherwise.
2Service shall be effected by registered mail or in any other way provided confirmation of receipt is obtained, and in particular by personal service by the police
3It is effected if the delivery is accepted by addressee or by an employee thereof or a person living in the same household who is at least 16 years old, unless the law enforcement authority has instructed that delivery be made to the addressee in person.
4It is also deemed to be effected:
- in the case of a delivery by registered mail that is not collected: on the seventh day following the unsuccessful attempt at service, provided the person is expecting the delivery;
- in the case of personal service, if the addressee refuses to accept service and this is recorded by the messenger: on the day of refusal.
Art. 86 Electronic service
1With the consent of the person concerned, communications may be served electronically. They must bear an electronic signature in accordance with the Federal Act of 18 March 20162 on Electronic Signatures.
2The Federal Council shall regulate:
- the signature to be used;
- the format for communications and their attachments;
- the method of transmission;
- the point in time at which the communication is deemed to have been served.
Art. 87 Address for service
1Communications must be served on addressees at their domicile, their habitual place of residence or their registered office.
2Parties and legal agents whose domicile, habitual place of residence or registered office is abroad must provide an address for service in Switzerland; provisions of international agreements under which communications may be served directly are reserved.
3Communications address to parties who have appointed a legal agent are validly served if sent to the agent.
4Where a party is required to appear personally at a hearing or must personally carry out a procedural act, the related communication shall be served directly on that party. A copy shall be sent to the legal agent.
Art. 88 Public notice
1Service shall be effected by publication in an official gazette designated by the Confederation or the canton where:
- the whereabouts of the addressee are unknown and cannot be ascertained despite making reasonable enquiries;
- service is impossible or would lead to exceptional inconvenience;
- a party or his or her legal agent with domicile, habitual residence or registered office abroad has failed to provide an address for service in Switzerland.
2Service is deemed to be effected on the day of publication.
3In the case of final judgments, only the conclusions of the judgment shall be published.
4Decisions to take no proceedings and summary penalty orders are deemed to be served without publication being required.
Art. 89 General Provisions
1Statutory time limits may not be extended.
2There are no court holidays in criminal proceedings.
Art. 90 Commencement and calculation of time limits
1Time limits that are triggered by a communication or the occurrence of an event begin to run from the following day.
2If the time limit is due to expire on a Saturday, a Sunday or a public holiday recognised under federal or cantonal law, it shall expire on the next working day. The matter shall be determined by the law of the canton in which the party or his or her legal agent is resident or has its registered office.1
1 Amended by Annex No II 7 of the Criminal Justice Authorities Act of 19 March 2010, in force since 1 Jan. 2011 (AS 2010 3267; BBl 2008 8125).
Art. 91 Compliance with time limits
1The time limit is complied with if the procedural act is carried out to the satisfaction of the competent authority on the day of expiry at the latest.
2 Submissions must be delivered on the day of expiry of the time limit at the latest to the criminal justice authority or handed for delivery to SwissPost, a Swiss diplomatic or consular representation or, in the case of persons in custody, the governor of the institution.
3In case of electronic submission, the relevant time for compliance with a time limit is that at which the receipt is issued that confirms that all the steps have been completed that the party must carry out for transmission.1
4The time limit is also deemed to be complied with if the submission is received by a Swiss authority not competent in the matter on the day of expiry at the latest. This authority shall pass the submission on immediately to the competent criminal justice authority.
5The time limit for making a payment to a criminal justice authority is complied with if the amount due is handed to SwissPost or is debited from a postal or bank account in Switzerland in favour of the criminal justice authority on the day of expiry at the latest.
1 Amended by Annex No II 7 of the FA of 18 March 2016 on Electronic Signatures, in force since 1 Jan. 2017 (AS 2016 4651; BBl 2014 1001).
Art. 92 Extension of time limits and postponement of hearings
The authorities may extend time limits and postpone hearings ex officio or in response to an application. The application must be made before the expiry of the time limit and be adequately justified.
Art. 93 Default
A party is in default if he or she fails to carry out a procedural act in time or fails to appear for a hearing.
Art. 94 New time limit
1Where a party has failed to comply with a time limit and has thus incurred a significant and irremediable loss of rights, he or she may request that a new time limit be fixed; in doing so he or she must credibly show that he or she was not at fault for the failure to comply with the time limit.
2The application must be made in writing with a statement of reasons and submitted within 30 days of the reason for default ceasing to apply to the authority before which the relevant procedural act should have been carried out. The relevant procedural act must be carried out within the same time limit.
3The application only has suspensive effect if the competent authority grants the same.
4The criminal justice authority shall decide on the application in written proceedings.
5Paragraphs 1–4 apply mutatis mutandis in the event of failure to attend a hearing. If a new hearing is granted, the director of proceedings shall fix a new date. The provisions on proceedings in absentia are reserved.
Art. 95 Obtaining personal data
1Personal data must be obtained from the person concerned or with that person's knowledge unless the proceedings would be otherwise be prejudiced or unreasonable inconvenience or expense would be incurred.
2If personal data is obtained without the knowledge of the person concerned, that person must be notified thereof immediately. Where overriding public or private interests so require, notification may be dispensed with or postponed.
Art. 95a Processing of personal data
When processing personal data, the competent criminal justice authorities shall ensure that they make a distinction, as far as possible:
- between the different categories of data subjects;
- between personal data based on facts and personal data based on personal assessments.
1 Inserted by No II 3 of the FA of 28 Sept. 2018 on the implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, in force since 1 March 2019 (AS 2019 625; BBl 2017 6941).
Art. 96 Disclosure and use in pending criminal proceedings
1The criminal justice authority may disclose personal data from pending proceedings for use in other pending proceedings if it is anticipated that the data may provide essential information.
2The foregoing paragraph does not apply to:
- Articles 11, 13, 14 and 20 of the Federal Act of 21 March 19971 on Measures to Safeguard Internal Security;
- the regulations of the Federal Act of 13 June 20082 on the Federal Police Information Systems;
- the regulations of the Federal Act of 7 October 19943 on the Central Offices of the Federal Criminal Police.4
1 SR 120
2 SR 361
3 SR 360
4 Amended by Annex 2 No I 1 let. a of the FA of 13 June 2008 on the Federal Police Information Systems, in force since 1 Jan. 2011 (AS 2008 4989; BBl 2006 5061).
Art. 97 Rights to information in the case of pending proceedings
As long as proceedings are pending, the parties and the other participants in the proceedings have, in accordance with their right to inspect case documents, the right to information on personal data relating to them that has been processed.
Art. 98 Correction of data
1Where personal data proves to be incorrect, the relevant criminal justice authorities shall correct it immediately.
2They shall immediately notify authorities to which they have transmitted, made available or disclosed the data of the corrections.1
1 Amended by No II 3 of the FA of 28 Sept. 2018 on the implementation of Directive (EU) 2016/680 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by competent authorities for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties, in force since 1 March 2019 (AS 2019 625; BBl 2017 6941).
Art. 99 Processing and retention of personal data after conclusion of the proceedings
1After conclusion of the proceedings, the processing of personal data, procedures and legal protection are governed by the provisions of federal and cantonal data protection law.
2The period of retention of personal data after conclusion of proceedings is governed by Article 103.
3The provisions of the Federal Act of 7 October 19941 on the Central Offices of the Federal Criminal Police, the Federal Act of 13 June 20082 on the Federal Police Information Systems and the provisions of this Code on identifying documents and DNA profiles are reserved.3
1 SR 360
2 SR 361
3 Amended by Annex 2 No I 1 let. a of the FA of 13 June 2008 on the Federal Police Information Systems, in force since 1 Jan. 2011 (AS 2008 4989; BBl 2006 5061).
Art. 100 File management
1A case file shall be opened for each criminal case. This file shall contain:
- the records of proceedings and examination hearings;
- the documents complied by the criminal justice authority;
- the documents submitted by the parties.
2The director of proceedings shall ensure the systematic filing of documents and sequential indexing; in simple cases, an index is not required.
Art. 101 Inspection of case documents in pending proceedings
1The parties may inspect the documents relating to the criminal proceedings at the latest following the first interview with the accused and the gathering of the other most important evidence by the public prosecutor; Article 108 is reserved.
2Other authorities may inspect the case documents if they need to do so for the purposes of pending civil, criminal or administrative proceedings and inspection is not contrary to any overriding public or private interests.
3Third parties may inspect the case documents if they claim to have an academic or other legitimate interest in doing so and inspection is not contrary to any overriding public or private interests.
Art. 102 Procedure relating to applications to inspect case documents
1The director of proceedings decides on whether case documents may be inspected. He or she shall take the measures required to prevent abuses and delays and to protect legitimate interests in confidentiality.
2The case documents must be inspected at the offices of the relevant criminal justice authority or those of another criminal justice authority in mutual assistance proceedings. Normally they shall be delivered to other authorities or the legal agents for the parties.
3Any person who is entitled to inspect case documents may request copies thereof for a fee.
Art. 103 Retention of case documents
1The case documents must be preserved at least until conclusion of the time limits for prosecution and for the execution of the sentence have expired.
2The foregoing paragraph does not apply to original documents included in the case file; they must be returned to the persons entitled thereto against written acknowledgement of receipt as soon as the criminal case has been decided by a final judgment.
Art. 104 Parties
- the accused;
- the private claimant;
- in the main hearing and in appellate proceedings: the public prosecutor.
2The Confederation and the cantons may grant full or limited party rights to other authorities that are required to safeguard public interests.
Art. 105 Other persons involved in the proceedings
1Other persons involved in the proceedings are:
- persons suffering harm;
- the person who has reported the offence;
- persons providing information;
- expert witnesses;
- third parties who have suffered detriment due to procedural acts.
2If the rights of persons involved in the proceedings named in paragraph 1 are directly affected, they shall, in order to safeguard their interests, be entitled to the procedural rights of a party.
Art. 106 Capacity to act
1The party may validly carry out procedural acts only if he or she has the capacity to act.
2A person lacking the capacity to act shall be represented by his or her statutory representative.
3A person with capacity of judgement who lacks the capacity to act may, in addition to his or her legal agent, exercise procedural rights that are of a highly personal nature.
Art. 107 Right to be heard
1The parties have the right to be heard; in particular, they have the right:
- to inspect case documents;
- to participate in procedural acts
- to appoint a legal agent;
- to comment on the case and on the proceedings;
- to request that further evidence be taken.
2The criminal justice authorities shall notify parties who are unaware of the law of their rights.
Art. 108 Restriction of the right to be heard
1The criminal justice authorities may restrict the right to be heard if:
- there is justified suspicion that a party is abusing his or her rights;
- this is required for the safety of persons or to safeguard public or private interests in preserving confidentiality.
2Restrictions in relation to legal agents are only permitted if the legal agent gives personal cause for imposing a restriction.
3Restrictions must be limited in time or to individual procedural acts.
4If the reason for imposing the restriction continues to apply, the criminal justice authorities may base their decisions on files that have not been disclosed to a party only if that party has been informed of the essential content thereof.
5If the reason for the restriction has ceased to apply, the right to be heard must be granted in a suitable form retrospectively.
Art. 109 Submissions
1The parties may make submissions to the director of proceedings at any time, subject to the specific provisions thereon in this Code.
2The director of proceedings shall examine the submissions and give the other parties the opportunity to comment.
Art. 110 Form
1Submissions may be made in writing or orally on record. Written submissions must be dated and signed.
2In the case of electronic submission, the submission and its enclosures must bear a qualified electronic signature in accordance with the Federal Act of 18 March 20161 on Electronic Signatures. The Federal Council shall regulate:
- the format for submissions and their attachments;
- the method of transmission;
- the requirements for requesting the submission of documents in paper form in the event of technical problems.2
3Procedural acts are not otherwise subject to any formal requirements unless this Code provides otherwise.
4The director of proceedings may reject illegible, incomprehensible, improper or incoherent submissions; they shall fix a deadline for the revision of the submission and give notice that the submission if not revised, will not be considered.
Art. 111 Definition
1For the purposes of this Code, the accused is a person suspected, accused of or charged with an offence in a report of a criminal offence, a criminal complaint or in a procedural act carried out by a criminal justice authority.
2The rights and the obligations of an accused also apply to persons in respect of whom it is intended to bring new proceedings following abandonment or a judgment in accordance with Article 323 or Articles 410–415.
Art. 112 Criminal proceedings against corporate undertakings
1In criminal proceedings against a corporate undertaking, the undertaking shall be represented by a single person who has unlimited authority to represent the undertaking in private law matters.
2If the undertaking fails to appoint such a representative within a reasonable time, the director of proceedings shall decide which of the persons authorised to represent the undertaking in private law matters will represent the undertaking in the criminal proceedings.
3If a criminal investigation is opened against the person representing the undertaking in the criminal proceedings in respect of the same or related circumstances, the undertaking must appoint another representative. If necessary, the director of proceedings shall appoint another person to represent the undertaking in accordance with paragraph 2, or if no one is available, a suitable third party.
4If proceedings are brought against a natural person and an undertaking in respect of the same or related circumstances, the two proceedings may be combined.
Art. 113 Status
1The accused may not be compelled to incriminate him or herself. In particular, the accused is entitled to refuse to make a statement or to cooperate in the criminal proceedings. He or she must however submit to the compulsory measures provided for by the law.
2The proceedings continue irrespective of whether the accused cooperates.
Art. 114 Fitness to plead
1An accused is fit to plead if he or she is physically and mentally capable of understanding the proceedings.
2In the event of temporary unfitness to plead, procedural acts that cannot be delayed shall be carried out in the presence of the defence.
3If the accused remains unfit to plead, the criminal proceedings shall be suspended or abandoned. The special provisions on proceedings against an accused who is not legally responsible due to a mental disorder are reserved.
1A person suffering harm is a person whose rights have been directly violated by the offence.
2A person entitled to file a criminal complaint is deemed in every case to be a person suffering harm.
Art. 116 Definitions
1A victim is a person suffering harm whose physical, sexual or mental integrity has been directly and adversely affected by the offence.
2Relatives of the victim are his or her spouse, children and parents, and persons closely related to him or her in a similar way.
Art. 117 Status
1Victims have special rights, in particular:
- the right to protection of personal privacy (Art. 70 para. 1 let. a, 74 para. 4, 152 para. 1);
- the right to be accompanied by a confidant (Art. 70 para. 2, 152 para. 2);
- the right to protective measures (Art. 152–154);
- the right to remain silent (Art. 169 para. 4);
- the right to information (Art. 305 and 330 para. 3);
- the right to a special composition of the court (Art. 335 para. 4).
2In the case of victims under the age of 18, additional special provisions protecting personal privacy apply, in particular relating to:
- restrictions on confrontation hearings with the accused (Art. 154 para. 4);
- special protective measures during examination hearings (Art. 154 para. 2–4);
- abandonment of the proceedings (Art. 319 para. 2).
3If relatives of a victim file civil claims, they are entitled to the same rights as the victim.
Art. 118 Definition and requirements
1A private claimant is a person suffering harm who expressly declares that he or she wishes to participate in the criminal proceedings as a criminal or civil claimant.
2The filing of a criminal complaint is regarded as being equivalent to such a declaration.
3The declaration must be made to a criminal justice authority by the end of the preliminary proceedings at the latest.
4If a person suffering harm has not made a declaration of his or her own volition, so the public prosecutor shall advise the person of this possibility after opening the preliminary proceedings.
Art. 119 Form and content of the declaration
1A person suffering harm may submit a written declaration in writing or make the declaration orally on record.
2In the declaration the person suffering harm may do either or both of the following:
- request the prosecution and punishment of the person responsible for the offence (a criminal complaint);
- file private law claims based on the offence (a civil claim).
Art. 120 Waiver and withdrawal
1The person suffering harm may at any time declare either in writing or orally on record that he or she waives his or her rights. The waiver is final.
2Unless the waiver is expressly limited, it shall be deemed to cover both the criminal and the civil proceedings.
Art. 121 Legal successors
1If the person suffering harm dies without waiving his or her procedural rights as a private claimant, such rights pass to his or her relatives as defined in Article 110 paragraph 1 SCC1 in accordance with their ranking under the law of succession.
2Any person who by law acquires the rights as a claimant of a person suffering harm does so only in respect of the civil claim and has only those procedural rights that relate directly to the assertion of the civil claim.
Art. 122 General Provisions
1The person suffering harm may bring civil claims based on the offence as a private claimant in the criminal proceedings.
2The relatives of the victim have the same right provided they bring their own civil claims against the accused.
3The civil proceedings become pending when a declaration in accordance with Article 119 paragraph 2 letter b is made.
4If a private claimant withdraws the civil claim before the end of the main hearing before the court of first instance, they may file the claim again in civil proceedings.
Art. 123 Quantification and statement of the grounds
1The civil claim must if possible be quantified in the declaration made in accordance with Article 119 and a brief statement of the grounds must be provided, detailing the relevant evidence.
2The quantification and statement of the grounds must be specified in the party submissions at the latest.
Art. 124 Jurisdiction and procedure
1The court hearing the criminal case shall judge the civil claim regardless of the amount involved.
2The accused shall be given the opportunity to respond to the civil claim in the main proceedings before the court of first instance at the latest.
3If the accused accepts the civil claim, this shall be placed on record and recorded in the decision concluding the proceedings.
Art. 125 Security for the claims against the private claimant
1A private claimant, with the exception of the victim, must on application by the accused lodge security in respect of the accused's probable costs arising from the civil claim if:
- he or she is not domiciled or has no registered office in Switzerland;
- he or she appears to be insolvent, in particular if bankruptcy proceedings have been opened or composition proceedings are ongoing or if certificates of loss have been issued;
- for other reasons, there is reason to fear that the accused's claim could be seriously jeopardised or frustrated.
2The director of proceedings for the court shall issue a final judgment on the application. He or she shall determine the amount of security and fix a time limit for its payment.
3The security may be paid in cash or take the form of a guarantee from a bank permanently established in Switzerland.
4It may be retrospectively increased, reduced or revoked.
Art. 126 Decision
1The court decides on pending civil claims in the event that it:
- convicts the accused;
- acquits the accused and the court is in a position to make a decision.
2The civil claim shall be referred for civil proceedings if:
- the criminal proceedings are abandoned or concluded by means of the summary penalty order procedure;
- the private claimant has failed to justify or quantify the claim sufficiently;
- the private claimant has failed to lodge security in respect of the claim;
- the accused has been acquitted but the court is not in a position to make a decision.
3If a full assessment of the civil claim would cause unreasonable expense and inconvenience, the court may make a decision in principle on the civil claim and refer it for civil proceedings. If possible, the court shall rule on minor claims itself.
4In cases involving the victim, the court may firstly decide solely on guilt and the penalty; thereafter the director of proceedings shall, following a further hearing of the parties, rule as a judge sitting alone on the civil claim, irrespective of its amount.
1The accused, the private claimant and the other persons involved in the proceedings may appoint a legal agent to safeguard their interests.
2The parties may appoint two or more persons as legal agent provided this does not unreasonably delay the proceedings. In such a case, they must designate one agent as the principal agent, who is authorised to carry out acts of representation before the criminal justice authorities and whose domicile is deemed to be the sole address for service.
3The legal agent may act for two or more persons involved in the proceedings, subject to the restrictions laid down by law and in their professional code of practice.
4The parties may appoint any person who has the capacity to act, is of unblemished reputation and is trustworthy; the restrictions of the law governing the legal profession are reserved.
5The defence of the accused is reserved to lawyers who are authorised under the Lawyers Act of 23 June 20001 to represent parties in court; the foregoing is subject to derogating cantonal provisions on the defence in proceedings relating to contraventions.
Art. 128 Status
A defence lawyer is obliged to act solely in the interests the accused, subject to the restrictions laid down by law and in the professional code of practice.
Art. 129 Right to choose a defence lawyer
1The accused is entitled, in any criminal proceedings and at any stage of the proceedings either to instruct a legal agent as defined in Article 127 paragraph 5 to conduct his or her defence (right to choose a defence lawyer) or, subject to Article 130, to conduct his or her own defence.
2The accused exercises his or her right to choose a defence lawyer by executing a written power of attorney or making a declaration on record.
Art. 130 Mandatory appointment of a defence lawyer
A defence lawyer must be appointed to represent the accused if:
- the period on remand including the period when under arrest has continued for more than 10 days;
- the offence concerned carries a custodial sentence of more than a year or a custodial measure or may result in expulsion from Switzerland;
- the accused is unable to safeguard his or her interests in the proceedings adequately due to his or her physical or mental condition or for other reasons, and his or her statutory representative is unable to do so either;
- the prosecuting lawyer is appearing in person before the court of first instance or the court of appeal;
- accelerated proceedings (Art. 358–362) are being conducted.
1 Amended by Annex No 5 of the FA of 20 March 2015 (Implementation of Art. 121 para. 3–6 Federal Constitution on the expulsion of foreign nationals convicted of certain criminal offences), in force since 1 Oct. 2016 (AS 2016 2329; BBl 2013 5975).
Art. 131 Appointment of the mandatory defence lawyer
1Where the mandatory appointment of a defence lawyer is required, the director of proceedings shall ensure that a defence lawyer is appointed immediately.
2If the requirements for the mandatory appointment of a defence lawyer are fulfilled on commencement of the preliminary proceedings, the defence lawyer must be appointed following the first interview by the public prosecutor, or before opening the investigation at the latest.
3In cases where the appointment of a mandatory defence lawyer is clearly required but evidence is obtained before a defence lawyer is appointed, the evidence obtained is only admissible if the accused waives the right to have the evidence taken again.
Art. 132 Duty defence lawyer
1The director of proceedings shall appoint a duty defence lawyer if:
- in the event of mandatory appointment of a defence lawyer:
- the accused, despite being requested to do so by the director of proceedings, fails to appoint a defence lawyer of choice, or
- the defence lawyer of choice has been dismissed or has resigned and the accused fails to appoint a new defence lawyer of choice within the time limit set;
- the accused lacks the necessary financial means and requires a defence lawyer to safeguard of his or her interests.
2A defence lawyer is required to safeguard the interests of the accused in particular if the matter is not a minor case and the case involves factual or legal issues that the accused is not qualified to deal with alone.
3A case is no longer regarded as minor if it is probable that a custodial sentence of more than 4 months or a monetary penalty of more than 120 daily penalty units may be imposed on conviction.1
1 Amended by Annex No 3 of the FA of 19 June 2015 (Amendments to the Law of Criminal Sanctions), in force since 1 Jan. 2018 (AS 2016 1249; BBl 2012 4721).
Art. 133 Appointment of the duty defence lawyer
1The duty defence lawyer is appointed by the person acting as director of proceedings at the relevant stage of the proceedings.
2The director of proceedings shall if possible take account of the wishes of the accused when appointing the duty defence lawyer.
Art. 134 Dismissal and change of duty defence lawyer
1If there is no longer any reason to have a duty defence lawyer, the director of proceedings shall dismiss the lawyer.
2If the mutual trust between the accused and his or her duty defence lawyer is seriously compromised or the provision of an effective defence is no longer guaranteed for other reasons, the director of proceedings shall appoint another person as the duty defence lawyer.
Art. 135 Duty defence lawyer's fees
1The duty defence lawyer shall be paid in accordance with the table of legal fees applicable in the Confederation or in the canton in which the criminal proceedings were conducted.
2The public prosecutor or the court passing judgment shall determine the fees at the end of the proceedings.
3The duty defence lawyer may file an objection against the decision on fees:
- with the objections authority, where the decision was made by the public prosecutor or the court of first instance; or
- with the Federal Criminal Court, where the decision was made by the objections authority or the cantonal court of appeal.
4If the accused is ordered to pay procedural costs, as soon as his or her financial circumstances permit, he or she must:
- repay the fees to the Confederation or the canton;
- pay the defence lawyer the difference between the official fees and the full fees.
5The rights of the Confederation or of the canton are subject to a time limit of 10 years from the time when the decision becomes legally binding.
Art. 136 Requirements
1The director of proceedings shall grant the private claimant full or partial legal aid for the enforcement of their civil claims if:
- the private claimant does not have the required financial resources; and
- the civil proceedings does not appear to be without any prospect of success.
2Legal aid includes:
- relief from the requirement to make an advance payment or to provide security in respect of costs;
- relief from the requirement to pay procedural costs;
- the appointment of a legal representative if this is necessary to safeguard the rights of the private claimant.
Art. 137 Appointment, dismissal and change
The appointment, dismissal and change of the legal representative are governed by Articles 133 and 134 mutatis mutandis.
Art. 138 Fees and allocation of costs
1The legal representative's fees are governed by Article 135 mutatis mutandis; the final judgment on who must pay the costs of the legal representative and of any procedural acts in respect of which relief has been granted from making an advance payment to cover costs remains reserved.
2If the private claimant is awarded procedural and legal costs to be paid by the accused, the portion of these costs covered by legal aid must be refunded to the Confederation or to the canton.
Art. 139 Principles
1In order to establish the truth, the criminal justice authorities shall use all the legally admissible evidence that is relevant in accordance with the latest scientific findings and experience.
2No evidence shall be led on matters that are irrelevant, obvious, known to the criminal justice authority or already adequately proven in law.
Art. 140 Prohibited methods of taking evidence
1The use of coercion, violence, threats, promises, deception and methods that may compromise the ability of the person concerned to think or decide freely are prohibited when taking evidence.
2Such methods remain unlawful even if the person concerned consents to their use.
Art. 141 Admissibility of unlawfully obtained evidence
1Evidence obtained in violation of Article 140 is not admissible under any circumstances. The foregoing also applies where this Code declares evidence to be inadmissible.
2Evidence that criminal justice authorities have obtained by criminal methods or by violating regulations on admissibility is inadmissible unless it is essential that it be admitted in order to secure a conviction for a serious offence.
3Evidence that has been obtained in violation of administrative regulations is admissible.
4Where evidence that is inadmissible under paragraph 2 has made it possible to obtain additional evidence, such evidence is not admissible if it would have been impossible to obtain had the previous evidence not been obtained.
5Records relating to inadmissible evidence shall be removed from the case documents, held in safekeeping until a final judgment has concluded the proceedings, and then destroyed.
Art. 142 Criminal justice authority conducting the examination hearing
1Examination hearings are conducted by the public prosecutor, the authorities responsible for prosecuting contraventions and the courts. The Confederation and the cantons shall decide on the extent to which the employees of these authorities are permitted to conduct examination hearings.
2The police may question accused persons and persons providing information. The Confederation and the cantons may determine which police officers may question witnesses on behalf of the public prosecutor.
Art. 143 Conduct of the examination hearing
1At the start of the examination hearing, the person being questioned shall, in a language they can understand:
- be asked for his or her personal details;
- be advised of the subject matter of the criminal proceedings and of the capacity in which he or she is being interviewed;
- be informed in full of his or her rights and obligations.
2A note must be made in the record that the provisions of paragraph 1 have been complied with.
3The criminal justice authority may make further enquiries in relation to the identity of the person being questioned.
4It shall invite the person being questioned to comment on the subject matter of the examination hearing.
5It shall endeavour by means of clearly formulated questions and contentions to obtain comprehensive statements and to clarify any contradictions.
6The person being questioned shall make his or her statement on the basis of his or her recollections. He or she may make use of written documents with the consent of the director of proceedings; these documents shall be added to the case documents on conclusion of the examination hearing.
7Persons with speech or hearing difficulties shall be questioned in writing or with the assistance of a suitably qualified person.
Art. 144 Examination hearing by video conference
1The public prosecutor and the courts may conduct an examination hearing by video conference if a personal appearance by the person being questioned is not possible or is only possible with unreasonable trouble and expense.
2An audio and video recording shall be made of the examination hearing.
Art. 145 Written reports
The criminal justice authority may invite a person being questioned to provide a written report instead of or in addition to holding an examination hearing.
Art. 146 Examination of two or more persons and confrontation hearings
1The persons being questioned shall be questioned separately.
2The criminal justice authorities may arrange for persons, including those who have the right to refuse to give evidence, to confront each other. The special rights of the victim are reserved.
3They may require persons who have been questioned who will probably be required to confront other persons after the conclusion of the examination hearing to remain at the place of the proceedings until the confrontation hearing is held.
4The director of proceedings may temporarily exclude a person from the hearing if:
- there is a conflict of interest; or
- the person must still be questioned in the proceedings as a witness, a person providing information or as an expert witness.
Art. 147 General provisions
1Parties have the right to be present when the public prosecutor and the courts are taking evidence and to put questions to persons who have been questioned. The presence of the defence lawyer at examination hearings conducted by the police is governed by Article 159.
2Persons exercising a right to participate do not have the right to request that the taking of evidence be postponed.
3A party or his or her legal agent may request that evidence be taken again if the legal agent or the party without a legal agent is prevented from participating for good cause. Evidence need not be taken again if it would involve unreasonable trouble and expense and the right of the party to be heard, and in particular the right to ask questions, can be taken into account in another way.
4Evidence obtained in violation of this Article is inadmissible against a party who was not present when it was taken.
Art. 148 In mutual assistance proceedings
1If evidence is taken abroad in execution of a request for mutual assistance, the right of the parties to participate is satisfied if they:
- are permitted to submit questions to be asked by the requested foreign authority;
- are permitted to inspect the record once the request for mutual assistance has been executed; and
- are permitted to submit written supplementary questions.
2Article 147 paragraph 4 applies.
Art. 149 General provisions
1If there are grounds to assume that a witness, a person providing information, an accused person, an expert witness or a translator or interpreter, or a person related to him or her in terms of Article 168 paragraphs 1–3 could be exposed to a serious danger to life and limb or any other serious prejudice by participating in the proceedings, the director of proceedings shall take the appropriate protective measures in response to an application or ex officio.
2The director of proceedings may also suitably restrict the procedural rights of the parties, in particular by:
- ensuring anonymity;
- conducting examination hearings while excluding parties or the public;
- establishing personal details while excluding parties or the public;
- modifying the appearance or voice of the person requiring protection or screening the person from the court;
- limiting rights to inspect case documents.
3The director of proceedings may permit the person requiring protection to be accompanied by a legal agent or a confidant.
4If a person under the age of 18 is interviewed as a witness or person providing information, the director of proceedings may order further protective measures in accordance with Article 154 paragraphs 2 and 4.
5The director of proceedings shall ensure in the case of all protective measures that the right of the parties to be heard is respected and in particular that the accused's rights to a proper defence are respected.
6If the person requiring protection has been assured that his or her anonymity will be preserved, the director of proceedings shall take appropriate measures to prevent any confusion or mistaken identity.
Art. 150 Assurance of anonymity
1The director of proceedings may give an assurance to the person requiring protection that his or her anonymity will be preserved.
2The public prosecutor shall submit its assurance to the compulsory measures court within 30 days for approval; in doing so, it must specify all the details required to assess the legality of the measure. The decision of the compulsory measures court is final.
3If the compulsory measures court declines to approve the measure, any evidence already obtained subject to the assurance of anonymity shall be inadmissible.
4An assurance of anonymity that has been approved or granted is binding on all criminal justice authorities involved in the case.
5The person requiring protection may waive the requirement of anonymity at any time.
6The public prosecutor and the director of proceedings in the court shall revoke the assurance if there is clearly no longer a need for protection.
Art. 151 Measures to protect undercover investigators
1Undercover investigators who have been given an assurance that their anonymity will be preserved have the following rights:
- to have their true identity withheld throughout the entire proceedings and after their conclusion from everyone other than the judges of the courts hearing the case;
- to have no details as to their true identity recorded in the case documents.
2The director of proceedings shall take the required protective measures.
Art. 152 General measures to protect victims
1The criminal justice authorities shall safeguard the personal privacy of the victim at every stage of the proceedings.
2The victim may be accompanied at all procedural hearings by a confidant in addition to his or her legal agent.
3The criminal justice authorities shall ensure that the victim does not encounter the accused if the victim so requests. In such a case, they shall take account of the accused's right to be heard in some other way. In particular, they may question the victim while applying protective measures in accordance with Article 149 paragraph 2 letters b and d.
4A confrontation hearing may be ordered if:
- the accused's right to be heard cannot be guaranteed in any other way; or
- the hearing is essential for the purpose of the prosecution.
Art. 153 Special measures to protect of victims sexual offences
1Victims of sexual offences may ask to be questioned by a person of the same sex.
2A confrontation hearing with the accused may be ordered against the wishes of the victim only if the accused's right to be heard cannot be guaranteed in any other way.
Art. 154 Special measures to protect child victims
1A victim is a child within the meaning of this Article if he or she is under 18 years of age at the time of the examination hearing or confrontation hearing.
2The first examination hearing with the child must take place as quickly as possible.
3The authority may exclude the confidant from the proceedings if this person could exert a decisive influence on the child.
4If it is evident that the examination hearing or the confrontation hearing could be a serious psychological burden for the child, the following rules apply:
- A confrontation hearing with the accused may be ordered only if the child expressly requests the confrontation hearing or the accused's right to be heard cannot be guaranteed in any other way.
- The child may not normally be interviewed more than twice during the entire proceedings.
- A second interview shall take place only if parties were unable to exercise their rights at the first interview or the examination hearing is essential in the interests of the enquiries or of the child. If possible, the child should be questioned by the same person who conducted the first interview.
- Examination hearings shall be conducted in the presence of a specialist by an investigating officer specifically trained for this purpose. Unless a confrontation hearing is held, audio and video recordings shall be made of the examination hearing.
- The parties shall exercise their rights through the person asking the questions.
- The person asking the questions and the specialist shall record their special observations in a report.
Art. 155 Measures to protect persons with mental disorders
1Examination hearings with persons with mental disorders shall be limited to essential matters; additional examination hearings shall be avoided.
2The director of proceedings may arrange for specialist criminal or social services authorities to conduct the examination hearing or request that family members, other confidants or expert witnesses attend the examination hearing.
Art. 156 Measures to protect persons outside the proceedings
The Confederation and the cantons may take measures to protect persons outside the proceedings.
Art. 157 Principle
1The criminal justice authorities may question the accused at any stage of the criminal proceedings in relation to the offences of which he or she is accused.
2In doing so, they shall give the accused the opportunity to make a comprehensive statement in relation to these offences.
Art. 158 Caution administered at the first interview
1At the start of the first interview, the police or public prosecutor shall advise the accused in a language that he or she understands:
- that preliminary proceedings have been commenced against him or her, and of the offences that are the subject of the proceedings;
- that he or she is entitled to remain silent and may refuse to cooperate in the proceedings;
- that he or she is entitled to appoint a defence lawyer or if appropriate to request the assistance of a duty defence lawyer;
- that he or she may request the assistance of an interpreter.
2Evidence obtained at an examination hearing conducted without the foregoing caution is inadmissible.
Art. 159 Police examination hearings during enquiries
1In the case of police examination hearings, the accused has the right for his or her defence lawyer to be present and allowed to ask questions.
2In the case of police examination hearings of a person who has been arrested, the person also is entitled to communicate freely with his or her defence lawyer.
3The examination hearing may not be postponed to allow time for the foregoing rights to be exercised.
Art. 160 Examination hearing with an accused who has admitted the offence
If the accused has admitted committing the offence, the public prosecutor and court shall assess the credibility of the admission and request the accused to provide more precise details of the circumstances of the offence.
Art. 161 Investigation of personal circumstances at the preliminary proceedings stage
The public prosecutor shall question the accused with regard to his or her personal circumstances only if it is expected that the accused will be charged or issued with a summary penalty order or if it is essential for other reasons.