Is the Federal Supreme Court a male domain?
Absolutely not! Currently, 16 of the 38 court members are women. However, we have no influence on this, as the court members are elected by the Federal Assembly. Of the approximately 150 court clerks, 49% are women, with an upward trend.
As president, are you the head of the Federal Supreme Court?
Not in the sense of a CEO. As president of the Federal Supreme Court, I represent the Federal Supreme Court vis-à-vis the outside world, for example vis-à-vis Parliament. As president, I am also a member of the Administrative Commission, which is responsible for the administration of the court. In many areas, the full court - the assembly of all court members - has the final say. And in addition to my presidential office, I am still a "regular" judge in my court division.
Has the workload of the Federal Supreme Court increased, do people enter into more disputes today than in the past?
The number of appeals are indeed steadily increasing. There are many reasons for this; not least it is probably due to the fact that life has become more complex and thus new legal questions arise, for example in connection with social media. The Federal Supreme Court has initiated an internal reorganisation to cope with the heavy business load and has already partially implemented it. In particular, because of the particularly marked increase in criminal cases, a second criminal division is to be created.
The president of the Federal Supreme Court is elected by Parliament for a term of two years. He represents the Federal Supreme Court vis-à-vis the outside world.