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Council of Europe’s Anti-Corruption body calls on Switzerland to develop ethical rules applicable to federal members of parliament, judges and prosecutors

Strasbourg 15/03/2017
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Council of Europe’s Anti-Corruption body calls on Switzerland to develop ethical rules applicable to federal members of parliament, judges and prosecutors

In a report published today, the Council of Europe anti-Corruption body (GRECO) highlights the specificities of Switzerland’s institutions which enjoy considerable public confidence. It underlines, however, that the very organisation of the system allows subtle pressure to be exerted on politicians and the judiciary.

More specifically, GRECO deems it necessary to increase members of parliament’s (MPs) awareness regarding issues of ethics and conflicts of interest. To this end, it recommends adopting a code, announcing publicly MPs’ conflicts of interest as part of the parliamentary procedure and developing the system for declaring relevant interests. These measures need to be accompanied by a reinforced monitoring of MPs’ compliance with their obligations.

While recognising the legitimacy of the principle of the election of judges of the federal courts by the Federal Assembly, GRECO calls for improvements to better ensure the quality and objectivity of the recruitment of these judges. It also underlines the importance of severing ties with the political powers after their election, notably by doing away with the practice of judges paying part of their salary to “their” party. Rules of professional ethics applicable to judges also need to be developed and a transparent disciplinary system put in place.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Confederation, which enjoys a large degree of independence, also needs to develop rules of professional ethics applicable to its members and to provide greater transparency in disciplinary matters.

The implementation of the 12 recommendations addressed to Switzerland will be assessed by GRECO in the second half of 2018 through its compliance procedure.

*unofficial translations, as provided by the Swiss authorities


The Fight against Corruption: a Priority for the Council of Europe

 

Ever since antiquity, corruption has been one of the most widespread and insidious of social evils. When it involves public officials and elected representatives, it is inimical to the administration of public affairs. Since the end of the 19th century, it has also been seen as a major threat in the private sphere, undermining the trust and confidence which are necessary for the maintenance and development of sustainable economic and social relations. It is estimated that hundreds of billions of Euros are paid in bribes every year. (more)

Members of GRECO Bureau

On Thursday, 29 November 2016, GRECO elected Marin MRČELA (Croatia) as its President and Agnès MAITREPIERRE (France) as its Vice-President. Helena LIŠUCHOVÁ (Czech Republic), Aslan YUSUFOV (Russian Federation), Vita HABJAN BARBORIČ (Slovenia), Ernst GNÄGI (Switzerland), and David MEYER (United Kingdom) have been elected members of the Bureau for the duration of the 5th Evaluation round starting in 2017.