Law Assignment in Switzerland

Switzerland is a popular study destination for international students, including those pursuing law degrees. Law students in Switzerland are expected to produce high-quality assignments that demonstrate their understanding of legal concepts and their ability to apply them in practice. In this blog post, we will discuss the key factors that college students should consider when working on law assignments in Switzerland.

Understanding the Legal System

The Swiss legal system is based on civil law, which is a legal system that relies on written laws and codes. Law students in Switzerland need to have a strong understanding of the Swiss legal system, including the role of the federal constitution, the civil code, and the criminal code. They also need to understand the structure of the Swiss judiciary system, including the different levels of courts and their respective jurisdictions.

Effective Legal Research

As a college student in Switzerland, you will inevitably have to conduct legal research for your law assignments. Whether you are studying Swiss law or international law, it is crucial to conduct thorough research to ensure that your work is accurate and well-informed. This guide will provide you with tips and strategies to conduct effective legal research in Switzerland.

Understanding the Swiss Legal System

Before you begin conducting legal research in Switzerland, it is important to understand the country’s legal system. Switzerland has a civil law system, which means that its legal system is based on written law rather than case law. This means that legal decisions are made based on statutory law and legal codes, rather than previous court rulings.

Switzerland also has a federalist system, meaning that there are different levels of government that have the power to make laws. The federal government is responsible for creating laws that apply to the entire country, while individual cantons (or states) have the power to create laws that apply only to their respective regions.

Identifying Relevant Sources

As a law student in Switzerland, one of the most important skills you must master is the ability to identify relevant sources of law. This is essential to be able to analyze legal issues and provide sound legal advice to clients. In this blog, we will discuss the key factors you need to consider when identifying relevant sources of law in Switzerland.

Understanding the Swiss Legal System

Before we delve into the specific sources of law, it is important to understand the Swiss legal system. Switzerland is a federal state with 26 cantons, each with its own constitution, legislature, and judiciary. At the federal level, the Swiss legal system is based on civil law and is divided into three branches: legislative, executive, and judiciary.

The legislative branch is responsible for drafting and enacting federal laws. The executive branch is responsible for enforcing federal laws, while the judiciary branch is responsible for interpreting and applying federal laws.

Sources of Law in Switzerland

The Swiss legal system is based on a hierarchy of sources of law, with the constitution at the top, followed by federal laws, cantonal laws, and regulations. Let us look at each of these sources in more detail:

The Swiss Constitution

The Swiss Constitution is the supreme law of the land and takes precedence over all other sources of law. It sets out the fundamental principles and values of the Swiss legal system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of citizens.

The Constitution is divided into three parts: the Fundamental Rights and Duties, the Organization of the State, and the Relationship between the Confederation and the Cantons. It also contains provisions on the federal authorities, the judiciary, and the protection of the environment and cultural heritage.

Federal Laws

Federal laws are enacted by the Swiss Federal Assembly and take precedence over cantonal laws. They cover a wide range of subjects, including civil law, criminal law, labor law, and tax law. Federal laws are published in the Federal Gazette and can be accessed online.

Cantonal Laws

Each canton in Switzerland has its own legislature, which is responsible for enacting cantonal laws. Cantonal laws apply only within the respective canton and take precedence over regulations issued by the cantonal executive. Cantonal laws cover a range of subjects, including education, health, and social welfare.


Regulations are issued by the executive branch of government and are subordinate to laws. They are used to implement and enforce laws and cover a wide range of subjects, including building regulations, environmental protection, and employment.

International Law

Switzerland is a signatory to numerous international treaties and agreements, which form part of Swiss law. International law takes precedence over federal and cantonal laws in cases of conflict.

Identifying Relevant Sources of Law

When identifying relevant sources of law, there are several factors to consider. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Identify the relevant jurisdiction: Determine whether the legal issue falls under federal or cantonal jurisdiction.

Identify the relevant area of law: Determine which area of law is relevant to the legal issue, such as civil law, criminal law, or labor law.

Identify the applicable law: Determine which specific law or regulation applies to the legal issue.

Consider any applicable international treaties or agreements: Determine whether any international treaties or agreements are relevant to the legal issue.

Conducting Effective Research

Once you have identified relevant sources for your research, it is important to conduct your research effectively. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Develop a research plan: Before you begin your research, develop a plan that outlines your research question, the sources you will use, and the keywords you will use to search for information.

Use effective search terms: When conducting online research, use specific search terms to ensure that you find relevant information. For example, if you are researching Swiss employment law, use keywords such as “Swiss employment law” or “Swiss labor law.”

Use advanced search techniques: Many online databases allow you to use advanced search techniques such as Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and wildcards (*, ?) to refine your search results.

Verify your sources: Always verify the credibility of your sources before using them in your research. Look for sources that are peer-reviewed, written by experts in the field, and published in reputable journals or books.

Take detailed notes: As you conduct your research, take detailed notes on the information you find. Be sure to record the source of each piece of information so that you can cite it properly in your paper.

Citing Your Sources

As a college student in Switzerland, it is important to understand how to cite sources of law in your assignments. Proper citation not only demonstrates academic integrity, but it also allows your readers to trace your sources and verify your arguments. In this blog, we will discuss the key aspects of citing sources of law in Switzerland and provide some practical tips to help you master this important skill.

When writing an academic assignment, it is important to provide accurate and comprehensive citations for all sources of law used. These sources include not only statutes, regulations, and case law, but also academic articles, books, and other secondary sources. Failure to properly cite your sources can result in allegations of plagiarism, which can have serious consequences for your academic and professional career.

Swiss Legal System

Before we dive into the specifics of citing sources of law, it is important to have a basic understanding of the Swiss legal system. Switzerland has a civil law system, which is based on written laws and codes. The primary sources of Swiss law include the Swiss Federal Constitution, federal laws, and cantonal laws. In addition, there are various international treaties and conventions that Switzerland has ratified, which may also be relevant to your research.

Swiss Citation Styles

There are two main citation styles used in Switzerland: the Swiss Legal Citation Style and the Swiss APA Citation Style. The Swiss Legal Citation Style is commonly used in legal writing and is based on the guidelines published by the Swiss Association of Lawyers. The Swiss APA Citation Style is based on the American Psychological Association’s style guide and is commonly used in social sciences, psychology, and education.

Swiss Legal Citation Style

The Swiss Legal Citation Style follows a footnote system, where the source is cited in a footnote at the bottom of the page. The footnote includes the author’s name, title of the source, publication information, and the specific page(s) being cited.

Structuring Legal Assignments

A well-structured legal assignment is essential for conveying a clear and coherent argument. Law students in Switzerland should ensure that their assignments have a clear introduction, main body, and conclusion. They should also use headings and subheadings to organize their ideas and make the structure of their assignment clear to the reader.

In the introduction, students should clearly state the purpose of their assignment and provide an overview of the key legal issues that will be discussed. In the main body, students should present their arguments in a logical and coherent manner, providing evidence and examples to support their points. In the conclusion, students should summarize their key arguments and provide a final analysis of the legal issues discussed.

Effective Writing Style

Effective writing is an important aspect of law assignments in Switzerland. Students should use clear and concise language and avoid jargon and unnecessary technical terms. They should also avoid using passive voice and instead use active voice to make their writing more engaging and readable.

When writing legal assignments, students should also use appropriate transition words and phrases to ensure that their arguments flow smoothly and logically. Examples of transition words and phrases include “in addition,” “furthermore,” “however,” and “on the other hand.”

Citing Legal Sources

In legal assignments, it is important to provide accurate citations for all legal sources used. Law students in Switzerland should use the appropriate citation style for their assignment, which is typically either the Swiss Legal Citation Style or the Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA).

Students should also ensure that they are citing their sources correctly and that they are using reliable and authoritative sources. They should also avoid plagiarism by citing all sources used and by using their own words and ideas when presenting their arguments.


Law assignments in Switzerland require students to have a strong understanding of the Swiss legal system, effective legal research skills, and the ability to structure and write clear and coherent arguments. By following these key factors, law students in Switzerland can produce high-quality assignments that demonstrate their legal knowledge and analytical skills.

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