The Swiss system of civil procedure does not provide for a class action.

In its Report on Collective Redress in Switzerland of 3 July 20132 the Swiss Federal Council notes that Switzerland’s mechanisms for collective redress are for practical purposes insufficient and partly unfit for the efficient and actual enforcement of mass and dispersed damages. There is, in particular, no class action available under Swiss law.3

The Swiss Federal Council notes that in this area of collective redress there is a gap in the system of legal protection that the legislator has so far not been willing to fill. There is no current project to introduce a class action into the Swiss system of civil procedure.

As a general rule, foreign judgments in class action proceedings are eligible for recognition and enforcement in Switzerland. Likewise, Swiss courts will normally entertain requests for judicial assistance by foreign courts dealing with class action proceedings.4

We keep following the developments.

1 Martin Burkhardt is a partner at Lenz & Staehelin.

2 Report of the Swiss Federal Council ‘Kollektiver Rechtsschutz in der Schweiz – Bestandesaufnahme und Handlungsmöglichkeiten’, Berne 3 July 2013.

3 Ibid. p. 14.

4 Ibid. p. 52 et seq.