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The consultation process , also known as the consultation process , is a phase in the Swiss legislative process . A comparable phase also exists in the Principality of Liechtenstein . On the other hand, in the state and constitutional complaints procedure, it describes the possibility for a party to the procedure to review the complaints and position references of the opposing parties or to be able to judge the lower courts.

Consultation in the legislative process


In the preparation of every constitutional amendment, new legal provisions, important international treaties and other projects of great importance, the cantons , political parties and interested parties (especially associations) are invited by the Federal Council to comment. This is done by the responsible body (usually the responsible department) publishing a preliminary draft and an explanatory report or sending it to interested parties.

The preliminary draft and the explanatory report are often not drawn up by the government or the responsible office itself, but by an expert commission appointed by the government or the office. Such an expert commission consists of experts from the areas affected by the submission.

The aim is to contribute specialist knowledge and to be able to assess the project's chances of success in the further legislative process. Particularly with a view to a possible referendum , it is important in Swiss politics to consult all important interest groups during the consultation in order to be able to present so-called “referendum-safe” proposals.

Even those who are not personally invited to the consultation process can comment on a submission, even as an individual. According to Article 7 of the relevant law (see under web links), the consultation period is three months. Exceptions to this are regulated in the same Article 7.

The answers of all those involved in the consultation are evaluated before the Federal Council determines the key figures for its submission to parliament . The federal councils will discuss the draft with knowledge of these consultation results. These are briefly summarized in the Federal Council's message to parliament. As a rule, the responsible federal offices publish a more detailed summary of the results.

The consultation documents have generally been publicly available since 2005, and the summaries of the results are available from the time the Federal Council took note of them.


For projects of minor importance, so-called hearings are carried out according to the same principles. Their results are also public.

Consultation in the constitutional complaint procedure

If a political decision is contested in Switzerland, this can be initiated by filing a complaint with the competent complaints authority. The respondents are given the opportunity to assess the complaints themselves as well as (if they move on to higher authorities) the assessments by the lower authorities involved; they are "invited to a consultation" by the court. The parties can express their point of view.

See also


  • Thomas Sägesser: Consultation Act, Federal Act of March 18, 2005 on the Consultation Procedure. Among employees by Ursulina Lupi. Bern 2006, ISBN 3-7272-2527-0 . (Stämpfli's hand comment)
  • Thomas Sägesser: The consultation process in the Swiss federal state . In: Journal for Legislation (ZG) . 19th year, 2004, pp. 364-372.
  • Jeremias Blaser: The consultation process in Switzerland: organization, development and current situation . Leske and Budrich, Opladen 2003, ISBN 3-8100-4011-8 .
  • Jeremias Blaser: The organizational consolidation of structural coupling using the example of the Swiss consultation process . In: K. Fischer, H. Blum, K.-U. Hellmann (Eds.): Luhmann conference proceedings. Westdeutscher Verlag, Wiesbaden 2003, pp. 95-107.
  • Jeremias Blaser (2003): Le Système de consultation en Suisse: Esquisse réflexive d'une analyze empirique. A Contrario 1 (1), 10-32.
  • Jeremias Blaser, Bernard Voutat (2002): La consultation des groupes d'intérêts dans le processus législatif en Suisse . In: B. Voutat, Y. Deloye (Eds.): Faire de la science politique; for an analysis of socio-historique du politique. Paris: Belin (Chapitre 5).

Web links

Wiktionary: consultation  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Legal bases


Individual evidence

  1. Consultations. (No longer available online.) State administration of the Principality of Liechtenstein, archived from the original on June 6, 2009 ; Retrieved August 5, 2009 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /