The Federal Administrative Court
The Federal Administrative Court handles appeals against rulings made by federal administrative authorities. In certain areas, it also reviews decisions made by cantonal authorities. The court comprises six divisions and the General Secretariat.
The Federal Administrative Court decides on appeals concerning the legality of rulings made by the federal administrative authorities. It therefore deals with a broad spectrum of legal issues ranging from A for asylum to Z for zoning law. The court also examines appeals against certain decisions made by cantonal governments, such as those concerning hospital lists. Lastly, it rules in the first instance on legal actions instituted in specific areas, e.g. in cases involving public law contracts.
The Federal Administrative Court, which is based in St. Gallen, comprises six divisions and the General Secretariat. Division I focuses on infrastructure, taxes, federal employment and data protection; Division II on economic affairs, competition and education; Division III on social insurance and public health; Divisions IV and V on asylum law; and Division VI on the law on foreign nationals and citizenship.
The judges are elected by the United Federal Assembly. They perform their duties independently and are bound only by the law.
With 73 judges and 353 employees, it is Switzerland’s largest federal court.
President: Vito Valenti
In hearing legal disputes, the Federal Administrative Court does not rely solely on the facts established in the lower instance and on the parties’ submissions, it establishes the material facts. For this purpose, it calls on experts to deliver opinions and in certain cases makes preparatory inquiries or visual inspections.
Each year, the court issues an average of 7,000 decisions – mostly in writing – in German, French and Italian. Most of its judgments are final.
6499 cases concluded in 2020