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Switzerland: Swiss Voters Reject Popular Initiative on Sovereign Money

(June 12, 2018) On June 10, 2018, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 75.7% to 24.3% the “Sovereign Money Initiative.” Voter turnout was 33.8%. (Vorlage Nr. 618. Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse. Volksinitiative vom 01.12.2015 “Für krisensicheres Geld: Geldschöpfung allein durch die Nationalbank! (Vollgeld-Initiative)” [Proposal No. 618, Preliminary Official Results: Popular Initiative of Dec. 1, 2015 “For Crisis-Proof Money: […]

Switzerland: Abolition of Marriage Tax Penalty Proposed

(Apr. 5, 2018) On March 21, 2018, the Swiss Federal Council (the Swiss government) adopted a legislative proposal to abolish the “marriage tax penalty” (marriage penalty). The proposal is designed to resolve the decades-long controversy surrounding the issue. (Swiss Federal Council, Botschaft zur Änderung des Bundesgesetzes über die direkte Bundessteuer (Ausgewogene Paar- und Familienbesteuerung) [Message […]

Switzerland: Voters Reject Proposal to Abolish Public Broadcasting Fees

(Mar. 7, 2018) On March 4, 2018, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 71.6% to 28.4% a popular initiative to abolish public broadcasting fees. Voter turnout was 54.4%. (Vorlage Nr. 617. Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse. Volksinitiative vom 11.12.2015 “Ja zur Abschaffung der Radio- und Fernsehgebühren (Abschaffung der Billag-Gebühren)” [Proposal No. 617, Preliminary Official Results: Popular […]

Switzerland: Revision of Adoption Law Enters into Force

(Jan. 4, 2018) On January 1, 2018, a revision of the Swiss adoption law entered into force. The amendment of the Civil Code allows stepchild adoption for same-sex registered partners and couples in a de facto marriage (cohabitation), lowers the minimum age for persons eligible to adopt, introduces a maximum age difference between adopted child […]

Switzerland: Referendum on Burqa and Niqab Ban Will Go to a Vote

(Oct. 24, 2017) On October 11, 2017, the Swiss Government announced that a proposed referendum on a ban of the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) had achieved the required 100,000 number of signatures to be put to a vote. (Eidgenössische Volksinitiative, “Ja zum Verhüllungsverbot” [Swiss Federal Popular Initiative, “Yes […]

Switzerland: Upper House of Parliament Rejects Burqa and Niqab Ban

(Mar. 15, 2017) On March 9, 2017, the Swiss Council of States (upper house of Parliament) rejected by a vote of 26 to 9, with 4 abstentions, a parliamentary initiative to ban the full body and face veil (burqa) and the face veil (niqab) and amend the Swiss Constitution accordingly.  The Council of States is […]

ECtHR/Switzerland: Compulsory Co-Ed Swim Classes Do Not Infringe Freedom of Religion

(Jan. 24, 2017) On January 10, 2017, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) held unanimously that a decision of the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, which upheld an administrative fine for the refusal of Muslim parents to send their 9- and 11-year-old daughters to compulsory co-ed swim lessons as part of their schooling, did not […]

Switzerland: Accelerated Nuclear Energy Exit Rejected

(Nov. 30, 2016) On November 27, 2016, Swiss voters rejected by a vote of 54.2% to 45.8% the Nuclear Energy Withdrawal Initiative. (Vorlage Nr. 608, Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse [Proposal No. 608, Preliminary Official Results], Swiss Federal Chancellery website (Nov. 27, 2016).) The initiative would have accelerated Switzerland’s exit from nuclear energy use, with three plants closing in 2017, […]

Switzerland: Rejection of Abolishment of Marriage Tax Penalty and Constitutional Definition of Marriage

(Mar. 11, 2016) On February 28, 2016, Swiss voters rejected by a narrow vote of 50.8% to 49.2% a referendum to abolish the marriage tax penalty in Swiss law. (Vorlage Nr. 596, Vorläufige amtliche Endergebnisse [Initiative No. 596, Preliminary Official Results], Schweizerische Bundeskanzlei [Swiss Federal Chancellery] website (Feb. 28, 2016).) The “marriage penalty” refers to tax provisions […]