Federal decree

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A federal decree is in Switzerland a decision by the Federal Assembly , which is not legislative includes provisions.

A distinction is made between the simple federal decree, which is not subject to a referendum , and the federal decree, which is subject to a referendum and which is subject to a referendum due to a constitutional or statutory provision. An example of a federal resolution that is subject to a referendum is the resolution on the approval of a general license for a nuclear installation , for which Article 48 (4) of the Nuclear Energy Act provides for an optional referendum.

Regulation until the end of 1999

The Federal Constitution of 1874 (aBV), which was in force until December 31, 1999, only stipulated that the generally binding federal resolutions were subject to an optional referendum (Art. 89 aBV) and regulated the urgent federal resolution. More details were determined at the legislative level in the Business Transaction Act (predecessor of the Parliament Act ).

The following forms of federal resolutions existed:

  • The non-urgent, generally binding federal decree: This was mainly intended for temporary enactments with legal norms; as an exception, non-legislative acts were also designed as non-urgent, generally binding federal decrees .
  • Generally binding federal decision not subject to a referendum: This form corresponds to the current regulation of the Federal Assembly .
  • Urgent federal decree: This was intended for urgency law (urgent cases of temporary legislation). With the Federal Constitution of 1999 that came into force on January 1, 2000, the urgent federal decree was renamed urgent federal law.
  • Simple federal decree: It fulfilled the same function as today's simple federal decree.