Legal-Regulatory indicators, also known as law or governance indicators are measures of how the legal system performs in a country. It is a source of knowledge for societies showing the mechanisms of governance via legal systems. Recently, these indicators have started amassing significant attention from policy makers and scholars.
Some of the aspects analyzed are how reliable and valid are the legal systems and policies in a country, the time, reasons and bodies responsible for creating these legal indicators, the influence that these legal indicators have and the need for them to be regulated. This particular paper takes an in-depth exploration of the legal-regulatory indicators in Switzerland.
Globally, Switzerland is known for having a good reputation particularly due to having an independent judiciary. It is a nation whereby democracy is expected, and individuals whether citizens or foreigners have confident of attaining a free trial. Due to this, it is apparent that the nation has a good legal system that protects its people. The main formal languages used by the judicial system in Switzerland are French, Italian and Germany. During trial, a person or a business can use an interpreter in case there is an issue of language barrier.
The primary source of the legal system is the Swiss1848 constitution which was completely changed in 1874 and subsequently in 2000. The legal system of the counts is grounded upon the civil law system influenced by judicial review of different legislative acts and customary law. Additionally, it allows compulsory International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction, however, with objections.
The main characteristic of Swiss’s legal system that makes it different from others is the presence of a substantial decentralized legal system. The legal system has been given to cantons and half-cantons who are responsible for deciding their own social and economic policy. The federal government on the other hand handles foreign affairs and a section of the economic policies.
The nation is known for fostering equal pay for both genders as protected under the federal constitution and within the gender equality act. Also, the country cares for the working class by providing a fair market whereby employees are free to air their views. Numerous studies have confirmed that in Switzerland, salaries can be negotiated between the workers and their employers be it on collective or individual basis.
OECD (2020) notes that in Switzerland’s legal framework of business, there is equity of judgements. One of the examples provided is that federal laws which are applied uniformly regardless of an individual or an entity’s status; both foreigners and nationals receive fair trial from the nation’s judicial system. The federal court is the highest court in the land, it is also the final court of appeal.
Regarding international dispute resolution, Switzerland has had a long standing history of holding international arbitration. This is fostered by its enhanced security, neutrality, political stability and a well-developed infrastructure.
There are several chambers of commerce in the land that are providing arbitration services. Some of these chambers are the likes of Geneva and Zurich chambers of commerce. Additionally, there is Swiss-American and Swiss-German chamber of commerce. All these chambers provide their own arbitration policies created specifically for global arbitration cases.
On the other hand, a report provided by the OECD (2023) has shown that Switzerland has not done any major regulatory policy reforms since the year 2015. It recommends that there is need for the country to carry out RIA for all the regulations.
The last time that the country’s federal Audit Office reexamined the quality of the nation’s RIA framework was in the year 2016. Then, it was discovered that the available regulatory policy framework were not sufficiently employed/ nearly, 30% of RIAs that were examined showcased that they were of insufficient quality. The RIA quality can be improved through improvement of the control mechanisms.