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Judicial reforms

Over the past fifteen years, important changes have occurred in federal and cantonal law, in particular with the unification of civil and criminal proceedings on January 1, 2011. Discover below the main reforms that have deeply modified the judicial organization and the staffing of the jurisdictions.

In 2009, administrative reform

On January 1, 2009, the new law on judicial organization came into force, to comply with 2 principles:

In 2011, Geneva's justice system undergoes a revolution

Its criminal and civil branches have undergone an in-depth change in their procedures due to the entry into force, on January 1, 2011, of the federal codes of civil and criminal procedure designed to replace the various cantonal legislations. The administrative branch has undergone organizational changes.

These changes, which involved, among other things, the creation of new jurisdictions, have significantly transformed the functioning of Geneva's justice system for litigants.

In 2013, revision of the law on the protection of adults and children

On January 1, 2013, the new law of adult protection, law of persons and filiation came into force (revision of the Swiss Civil Code). The Tribunal de protection de l'adulte et de l'enfant replaces the former Guardianship Court.

Implementation of the Geneva Constitution of 14 October 2012

In 2014, the creation of a new chamber within the Cour de droit public de la Cour de justice, namely the Chambre constitutionnelle, in application of article 124 of the Constitution of the Republic and Canton of Geneva of October 14, 2012. The Chambre constitutionnelle hears appeals against constitutional laws, laws and rules of order of the State Council ; it settles disputes concerning votes and elections and rules on the validity of popular initiatives.

In 2016, modification of the conditions of eligibility of the conciliating judges and the conciliating judges-assessors of the Tribunal des prud'hommes, according to the modalities provided for in article 123 of the Geneva Constitution. The law on the exercise of political rights of November 25, 2016 is amended in order to adapt the provisions to the Geneva Constitution. The amendments introduce greater flexibility and simplification in the conditions of eligibility of Tribunal des prud'hommes judges and modify the status of conciliating judges and conciliating judges-assessors of the Tribunal des prud'hommes.

In 2016, the composition of the Conseil supérieur de la magistrature is reviewed in order to comply with article 126 of the Geneva Constitution. The legislator introduces the possibility that the Conseil supérieur de la magistrature includes substitute members and provides that the members coming from the Judiciary Power are in minority (4 members out of 9, that is to say: the Attorney General, the President of the Cour de justice and 2 tenured magistrates).

Expense increase and staffing changes

As from 2013, the criminal branch was strengthened to take into account the effects of the entry into force of the Swiss Criminal Procedure Code. 8 additional prosecutors have joined the Public Prosecutor's Office between 2013 and 2014. In order to consolidate the criminal branch in a coherent way, the staffing of the Tribunal pénal increases, in 2014, from 17 to 20 posts of tenured judges.

In 2016, due to the entry into force of articles 66a to 66d of the Swiss Criminal Code (CP) on the expulsion of criminal foreigners, the Tribunal pénal is staffed with 23 tenured judge positions, 3 more than previously.

In 2018, the Tribunal de protection de l'adulte et de l'enfant is staffed with 9 tenured judges, one more than previously, due to the increase in workload resulting from the monitoring of the measures it institutes, any changes in the situation of protected persons of which it is informed and proceeds with the necessary adjustments.