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Chambre constitutionnelle

The Chambre constitutionnelle reviews on appeal the conformity of cantonal norms with higher law. It deals with disputes relating to the exercise of political rights in cantonal and communal matters and decides on conflicts of jurisdiction between authorities.

Contacts

Address

Address

Rue de Saint-Léger 10
1205 Genève

Contact details

Desk-telephone

Opening hours
8h-12h / 13h30-16h

Mailing address

Chambre constitutionnelle
Case postale 1956
1211 Genève 1

Composition

Competences

The Chambre constitutionnelle hears appeals against constitutional laws, laws and rules of order of the State Council, in matters of votes and elections and matters of validity of popular initiatives.

It also hears, as a single cantonal instance, actions concerning a conflict of competences between authorities.

Organization

The Chambre constitutionnelle is composed of 7 permanent judges.

It sits with 5 judges.

The judges of the chamber work in close cooperation with jurists and, for the administrative follow-up of the proceedings and the record of the hearings, with a clerk.

The Chambre constitutionnelle does not provide legal advice.

Proceeding

Your steps in brief

The proceeding involves several steps:
 

Step 1: bring an action before the Chambre constitutionnelle

You must submit your appeal in written form, in one copy per party, to the Chambre constitutionnelle by mail or by depositing it directly at the desk of the Chamber or the Greffe universel. It must be written in French and signed.

Your appeal must imperatively:

  • Specify the facts and arguments justifying your appeal
  • Indicate what you wish to obtain
  • Include all the useful documents justifying your appeal

 

Step 2: pay an advance on costs

At the initiation of the appeal, you must in principle pay an advance on costs, the amount of which varies according to the nature of your dispute.

These costs, including miscellaneous disbursements and a fee, are to be borne by the parties whose appeal is not fully accepted.

If your resources are insufficient to ensure the defence of your interests in court, you can request legal aid.

 

Step 3: conduct of the proceeding

The delegated judge sets a deadline for the body concerned to reply to the appeal.

If necessary, a hearing will be held and further investigations may be ordered.

The parties can still express themselves at the end of the proceeding, and the case is kept for trial.

 

Step 4: end of the proceeding

The substantiated decisions (judgments) are communicated to you in writing.

Questions/answers

Parties whose examination has been ordered must appear in person; legal entities must appoint a representative.

Even when the examination has not been ordered, it is advisable to attend hearings held before the Chambre des assurances sociales de la Cour de justice in person.

Witnesses are required to appear personally.

If your resources are insufficient to defend your interests in court, you may, under certain conditions, be eligible for legal aid. This financial aid is not free of charge.

It consists mainly of partial or total payment of lawyers' fees and legal costs for people who do not have the necessary means to pay them. You will have to reimburse it as soon as you are able to do so.

For more information, consult the thematic guide Legal aid

 

See also

Cour de justice

The Cour de justice is the authority of appeal and last instance in the canton against decisions rendered by the criminal prosecution authority and against first instance judgments in criminal, civil and administrative matters. It also rules as a single instance when the law so provides.

Public law branch

Public law courts have jurisdiction to issue a final decision concerning disputes arising between private individuals and cantonal or communal administrative authorities, autonomous corporations under public law and institutions under private law vested with state prerogatives.

Legal advice service and legal counsels

The Judiciary Power does not provide legal advice. You can contact the following associations and organizations.