Federal execution

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The federal execution in a confederation of states or state the laws of the State, against individual members or member States to take military action if they violate obligations arising from membership in the covenant. In Germany the term is congruent with the term “ Reichsexekution ”, depending on the respective state name.

German Confederation

Federal execution was the right of the German Confederation (1815 to 1866) to take action against the government of a member state if it opposed provisions of the German Federal Act or other federal decrees.

The Federal Act was based on Article 31 of the Vienna Final Act and the enforcement order of 1820. In order to force a state to comply with its obligations, the following measures were planned:

  • the military occupation of the national territory
  • the assumption of government power up to the removal of the ruling prince and
  • the repeal of constitutional provisions that violated federal law.

A federal commissioner was appointed who was responsible for implementing the measures.

Federal executions in the German Confederation:

The federal execution is to be distinguished from the federal intervention , which was not directed against the government of a member state, but against movements hostile to the federal government, and served to secure the monarchical - legitimistic order and the public calm. A distinction must also be made between the Federal War in order to ward off attacks by foreign powers.


In Switzerland, federal execution refers to coercive measures by the federal government against individual cantons if they fail to meet their federal obligations. The basis for this is Articles 173 and 186 of the Federal Constitution . Federal enforcement can also mean the fulfillment of the obligation by the federal government at the expense of the canton (substitute performance) or the temporary suspension (suspension) of subsidies . The last resort would then be military action against the recalcitrant canton. The federal execution is decided by the Federal Assembly , the implementation is incumbent on the Federal Council . The following conditions must be met for the execution of the federal enforcement:

  1. Violation of federal obligations by the cantons;
  2. Coercion;
  3. Warning;
  4. Setting deadlines.

In addition, a canton can appeal to the Federal Supreme Court before the execution if it sees itself as wronged by the federal government.

In Switzerland, federal execution must be distinguished from federal intervention . The latter serves to protect cantonal bodies against riot and disturbance according to Art. 52 of the Federal Constitution and can be combined with the deployment of troops. According to customary law today, the principle is that cantonal police forces are deployed first and federal army units are only deployed on a subsidiary basis if there is an urgent need. In the nationwide general strike of 1918 , it was the other way around: some army units serving in the World War were used against the striking workers, which ultimately resulted in some deaths. It was a security service, while maintaining the canton's sovereignty, not a federal intervention.

Ten federal interventions have been carried out since 1848, nine of them in the 19th century and the tenth on the occasion of the 1932 riots in Geneva .

Related terms

While the federal execution in the German Confederation was directed against a member state that did not want to fulfill its obligations, the federal intervention was a help for a member state that was in distress due to unrest that it could not suppress itself.

The federal execution is the legal equivalent of the realm execution in the Holy Roman Empire and in the German Empire . In the Basic Law of 1949 of the Federal Republic of Germany , the term federal compulsion is .


  • H. Boldt: Reich und Länder - Texts on German constitutional history in the 19th and 20th centuries , 1987
  • HR Schwarzenbach: Outline of Administrative Law , 1978 (Switzerland)
  • Ulrich Im Hof : History of Switzerland , 1981

Web links