18 Pages

Towards the Judicialisation of Swiss Politics?

The concept of judicialisation is often used to describe the process whereby courts have broadened their influence at the expense of parliament and government: 'the expansion of the province of the courts or the judges at the expense of the politicians and/or the administrators, that is, the transfer of decision-making rights from the legislature, the cabinet, or the civil service to the COUrts'.l Furthermore, depending on the author's normative position, the termjudicialisation is either characterised as threatening the basic values of democratic decision-making or regarded as increasing the protection of rights. However, no single definition of judicialisation has, as yet, emerged out of the already broad variety of studies examining the phenomenon around the world. Two aspects of judicialisation are examined here in the context of the case of Switzerland: the current influence of the Federal Supreme Court with respect to policy-making, and the extent to which its jurisdiction has broadened and its influence increased over time.