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Switzerland; United States: Agreement on Tax Dispute

(Oct. 17, 2013) Switzerland and the United States signed an Executive Agreement on August 29, 2013, that was designed to end a dispute between the two countries on issues relating to the conduct of Swiss banks in allegedly having assisted U.S. taxpayers in the commission of tax evasion. (Press Release, Swiss Federal Department of Finance, […]

Switzerland: Referendum on Executive Pay

(Mar. 27, 2013) On Sunday, March 3, 2013, the Swiss people voted for a popular initiative to limit executive pay. Voter participation was over 45%, and 68% of those voting supported the measure. (Volksabstimmung vom 3. März, 2013:08.080 «Gegen die Abzockerei» Volksinitiative [Popular Vote of March 2013, Popular Initiative Against Being “Ripped Off”], Die Bundesversammlung […]

Switzerland: Burqa Ban Voted Down

(Oct. 1, 2012) On September 28, 2012, the National Council, the lower house of the Swiss Parliament, voted down, by a narrow margin, a proposal to ban the wearing of face-covering veils in public, including on public transportation. The 93-87 vote defeated a ban that would have applied to burqas, which are worn by some […]

Switzerland: Court Decision in Privacy Violation Case Partially Favorable to Google

(June 15, 2012) On June 8, 2012, Switzerland's Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgericht) announced that it had partially upheld Google's appeal in a case involving the company's alleged violations of privacy through its Street View service. (Sung Un Kim, Switzerland Court Partially Rules for Google in Privacy Case, PAPER CHASE NEWSBURST (June 8, 2012).)Street View is […]

Switzerland: Military Conscription

(Oct. 5, 2011) On October 3, 2011, the Federal Commission for Childhood and Youth Issues (Eidgenössische Kommission für Kinder- und Jugendfragen (last visited Oct. 4, 2011)) published a report entitled A Service for the Public Welfare (Ein Dienst für das Gemeinwohl) (Oct. 2011)) in which it recommended replacing military conscription with a system that would […]

Switzerland: Controversial Referendum on Automatic Expulsion of Foreign Residents Convicted of Crimes

(Dec. 3, 2010) On November 28, 2010, Swiss voters supported an initiative launched by the far-right Swiss People's Party (SVP) to automatically expel any foreign residents convicted of certain crimes. The vote was 52.9% in favor and 47.1% opposed, with only six of the country's 26 cantons rejecting the proposal. The SVP is the same […]

Switzerland: Fees for Exchange of Tax Information Proposed

(Oct. 21, 2010) On October 18, 2010, the Finance Committee of the National Council (Nationalrat), the representative chamber of the Swiss bicameral Parliament, submitted a motion to the Federal Council (Bundesrat), the executive branch of the Swiss government, requesting that a law be drafted that would allow the Swiss government to recover extraordinary expenses from […]

Switzerland: Decriminalization of Narcotics Consumption Proposed

(Oct. 20, 2010) On October, 15, 2010, the Committee for Social Security and Health of the National Council (Nationalrat), the representative chamber of the bicameral Swiss Parliament, resolved to initiate the legislative process for amending the Narcotics Act (Betäbungsmittelgesetz, Oct. 3, 1951, Systematische Sammlung des Bundesrechts No. 812.121, http://www.admin.ch/ch/d/sr/c812_121.html). The purpose of this proposed reform […]

Switzerland; Taiwan: Against ISO over Request for Country Name Change Declined

(Sept. 13, 2010) The Swiss Federal Tribunal (Switzerland's Supreme Court), in Lausanne, issued a ruling on September 9, 2010, declining to handle on appeal a civil suit lodged by Taiwan against the Geneva-based International Standards Organization (ISO). The Tribunal, affirming a lower court decision, deemed the case to be outside the scope of its jurisdiction […]

Switzerland: Exchange of Tax Information

(Sept. 3, 2010) On September 1, 2010, the Swiss Federal Council (Bundesrat, Federal Cabinet) adopted the Regulation on Administrative Assistance Accorded to Double Taxation Conventions (Amtshilfeverordnung [Administrative Assistance Regulation], advance copy, Federal Administration of the Swiss Federation website, http://www.news.admin.ch/NSBSubscriber/message/attachments/20252.pdf (last visited Sept. 1, 2010)). This Administrative Assistance Regulation provides the principles and procedures applicable to […]