Since 1 June 2002 it has been possible for lawyers in Switzerland to appear before any court in the country without needing a special licence. In the past, they had to apply for authorisation to practise if they wished to represent a party in court in a canton other than that in which their practice was based.
The Attorneys-at-Law Act brings about a new degree of mobility by requiring registers of lawyers to be kept at cantonal level. If a lawyer meets set professional and personal criteria, they may be entered in the lawyers' register in the canton in which their business is located. This gives them the right to appear in court anywhere in Switzerland. The Act also harmonizes the major professional regulations and disciplinary measures at federal level. This promotes mobility among members of the legal profession, who will no longer have to worry about differences between the cantons.
Finally, the Attorneys-at-Law Act also lays down the conditions on which lawyers from Member States of the EU and EFTA may be licensed to practise law in Switzerland.
For the complete documentation see the pages in German, French or Italian.
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