Title Two. Fundamental Rights, Citizenship and Social Goals
Chapter 1. Fundamental Rights
Article 7. Human dignity
Human dignity must be respected and protected.
Article 8. Equality before the law
Every person is equal before the law.
No person may be discriminated against, in particular on grounds of origin, race, gender, age, language, social position, way of life, religious, ideological, or political convictions, or because of a physical, mental or psychological disability.
Men and women have equal rights. The law shall ensure their equality, both in law and in practice, most particularly in the family, in education, and in the workplace. Men and women have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.
The law shall provide for the elimination of inequalities that affect persons with disabilities.
Article 9. Protection against arbitrary conduct and principle of good faith
Every person has the right to be treated by state authorities in good faith and in a non-arbitrary manner.
Article 10. Right to life and to personal freedom
Every person has the right to life. The death penalty is prohibited.
Every person has the right to personal liberty and in particular to physical and mental integrity and to freedom of movement.
Torture and any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment are prohibited.
Article 11. Protection of children and young people
Children and young people have the right to the special protection of their integrity and to the encouragement of their development.
They may personally exercise their rights to the extent that their power of judgment allows.
Article 12. Right to assistance when in need
Persons in need and unable to provide for themselves have the right to assistance and care, and to the financial means required for a decent standard of living.
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Every person has the right to privacy in their private and family life and in their home, and in relation to their mail and telecommunications.
Every person has the right to be protected against the misuse of their personal data.
Article 14. Right to marry and to have a family
The right to marry and to have a family is guaranteed.
Article 15. Freedom of religion and conscience
Freedom of religion and conscience is guaranteed.
Every person has the right to choose freely their religion or their philosophical convictions, and to profess them alone or in community with others.
Every person has the right to join or to belong to a religious community, and to follow religious teachings.
No person may be forced to join or belong to a religious community, to participate in a religious act, or to follow religious teachings.
Article 16. Freedom of expression and of information
Freedom of expression and of information is guaranteed.
Every person has the right freely to form, express, and impart their opinions.
Every person has the right freely to receive information to gather it from generally accessible sources and to disseminate it.
Article 17. Freedom of the media
Freedom of the press, radio and television and of other forms of dissemination of features and information by means of public telecommunications is guaranteed.
Censorship is prohibited.
The protection of sources is guaranteed.
Article 18. Freedom to use any language
The freedom to use any language is guaranteed.
Article 19. Right to basic education
The right to an adequate and free basic education is guaranteed.
Article 20. Academic freedom
Freedom of research and teaching is guaranteed.
Article 21. Freedom of artistic expression
Freedom of artistic expression is guaranteed.
Article 22. Freedom of assembly
Freedom of assembly is guaranteed.
Every person has the right to organise meetings and to participate or not to participate in meetings.
Article 23. Freedom of association
Freedom of association is guaranteed.
Every person has the right to form, join or belong to an association and to participate in the activities of an association.
No person may be compelled to join or to belong to an association.
Article 24. Freedom of domicile
Swiss citizens have the right to establish their domicile anywhere in the country.
They have the right to leave or to enter Switzerland.
Article 25. Protection against expulsion, extradition and deportation
Swiss citizens may not be expelled from Switzerland and may only be extradited to a foreign authority with their consent.
Refugees may not be deported or extradited to a state in which they will be persecuted.
No person may be deported to a state in which they face the threat of torture or any other form of cruel or inhumane treatment or punishment.
Article 26. Guarantee of ownership
The right to own property is guaranteed.
The compulsory purchase of property and any restriction on ownership that is equivalent to compulsory purchase shall be compensated in full.
Article 27. Economic freedom
Economic freedom is guaranteed.
Economic freedom includes in particular the freedom to choose an occupation as well as the freedom to pursue a private economic activity.
Article 28. Right to form professional associations
Employees, employers and their organisations have the right to join together in order to protect their interests, to form associations and to join or not to join such associations.
Disputes must wherever possible be resolved through negotiation or mediation.
Strikes and lock outs are permitted if they relate to employment relations and if they do not contravene any requirements to preserve peaceful employment relations or to conduct conciliation proceedings.
The law may prohibit certain categories of person from taking strike action.
Article 29. General procedural guarantees
Every person has the right to equal and fair treatment in judicial and administrative proceedings and to have their case decided within a reasonable time.
Each party to a case has the right to be heard.
Any person who does not have sufficient means has the right to free legal advice and assistance unless their case appears to have no prospect of success. If it is necessary in order to safeguard their rights, they also have the right to free legal representation in court.
Article 29a. Guarantee of access to the courts
In a legal dispute, every person has the right to have their case determined by a judicial authority. The Confederation and the Cantons may by law preclude the determination by the courts of certain exceptional categories of case.
Article 30. Judicial proceedings
Any person whose case falls to be judicially decided has the right to have their case heard by a legally constituted, competent, independent and impartial court. Ad hoc courts are prohibited.
Unless otherwise provided by law, any person against whom civil proceedings have been raised has the right to have their case decided by a court within the jurisdiction in which they reside.
Unless the law provides otherwise, court hearings and the delivery of judgments shall be in public.
Article 31. Deprivation of liberty
No person may be deprived of their liberty other than in the circumstances and in the manner provided for by the law.
Any person deprived of their liberty has the right to be notified without delay and in a language they can understand of the reasons for their detention and of their rights. They must be given the opportunity to exercise their rights, in particular, the right to have their next-of-kin informed.
Any person in pre-trial detention has the right to be brought before a court without delay. The court decides whether the person must remain in detention or be released. Any person in pre-trial detention has the right to have their case decided within a reasonable time.
Any person who has been deprived of their liberty by a body other than a court has the right to have recourse to a court at any time. The court shall decide as quickly as possible on the legality of their detention.
Article 32. Criminal proceedings
Every person is presumed innocent until they have been found guilty by a legally enforceable judgment.
Every accused person has the right to be notified as quickly and comprehensively as possible of the charge brought against them. They must be given the opportunity to assert their rights to a proper defence.
Every convicted person has the right to have their conviction reviewed by a higher court, with the exception of cases in which the Federal Supreme Court sits at first instance.
Article 33. Right of petition
Every person has the right, without prejudice, to petition the authorities.
The authorities must acknowledge receipt of such petitions.
Article 34. Political rights
Political rights are guaranteed.
The guarantee of political rights protects the freedom of the citizen to form an opinion and to give genuine expression to his or her will.
Article 35. Upholding of fundamental rights
Fundamental rights must be upheld throughout the legal system.
Whoever acts on behalf of the state is bound by fundamental rights and is under a duty to contribute to their implementation.
The authorities shall ensure that fundamental rights, where appropriate, apply to relationships among private persons.
Article 36. Restrictions on fundamental rights
Restrictions on fundamental rights must have a legal basis. Significant restrictions must have their basis in a federal act. The foregoing does not apply in cases of serious and immediate danger where no other course of action is possible.
Restrictions on fundamental rights must be justified in the public interest or for the protection of the fundamental rights of others.
Any restrictions on fundamental rights must be proportionate.
The essence of fundamental rights is sacrosanct.
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