Civil parish (Canton of Zurich)

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Municipality in Switzerland

The civil parish was a common type of parish in the Swiss canton of Zurich in the 19th century, but no longer exists today. Based on the new cantonal constitution, it was repealed at the beginning of 2010.


The civil parishes were corporations under public cantonal law, which usually comprised individual localities within a larger political municipality , but sometimes also concerned the same object.

They were created during the time of the Helvetic Republic , when the old village communities were split up into corporations under private law and civil parishes under public law (cf. community dualism ). In the first half of the 19th century numerous new foundations were made, so that in 1855 a high of 420 corporations with civil parish status were registered. In the decades that followed, the number of civil parishes shrank. Sennhof near Winterthur was probably one of the last newly founded civil parishes in 1875 ; However, new foundations were not prohibited until the municipal law of 1929. In 1894 there were 294 civil parishes, and in 1960 there were 41. By 2005 - when the new cantonal constitution was voted on - the number had fallen to 20 corporations.

Their tasks initially included all material tasks of a community such as fields, roads, water and fire fighting; The political commons, on the other hand, had constitutional tasks such as police, civil status, notarization and guardianship. However, the political communities were increasingly strengthened at the expense of the civil parishes, among other things with the municipal law of 1875.

Legal status

Like all other communities , the civil communities were also subject to the supervision of the district council and the government council and were thus organized under public law. However, the civil parishes were not entitled to payments from the financial equalization scheme ; they had to pay for their own maintenance, for example through fees and income from the remaining tasks such as electricity and water supply or maintenance of the corridor. Taxes they could raise.

New constitution of the canton of Zurich

The new cantonal constitution of the Zurich state brought the abolition of civil parishes with it.

The draft constitution was approved by voters on February 27, 2005 and entered into force on January 1, 2006. According to Art. 143 Para. 1 KV, the civil parishes were within four years, i. H. as of January 1, 2010 , to unite with the respective political municipality on whose territory they were located.

In the discussion of the new constitution, the civil parish was referred to as an "old braid" that had to be cut off. The civil parishes, however, were of a different opinion and defended their existence, among other things, with the argument that they were more efficient than almost any other body. These arguments did not catch on with the Constitutional Council.

List of civil parishes still in existence at the time of voting

In the districts of Affoltern , Dietikon , Horgen , Meilen and Zurich there were no more civil parishes at that time.

See also

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