The judicial ban on publishing an article should be facilitated

The recourse to interim measures against a media must be facilitated. The National Legal Affairs Committee follows, by 12 votes to 10 and 3 abstentions, the Council of States on this point of the revision of the code of civil procedure.

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Emergency tools, provisional measures must allow a judge to prohibit the publication of an article that would prejudice a third party, if the latter so requests. Currently, three criteria must be met. The measure must not appear disproportionate, and the interference must be unjustified and particularly serious.

During its examination of the text, the Council of States reduced this last element. The impairment must be more than serious and not particularly serious. The National committee followed narrowly, Parliament services said on Friday.

Too restrictive, the current provision creates an imbalance between the citizen and the media in question, in the eyes of the narrow committee majority. Two minorities were deposited. The first wants to stay with the law in force. The second suggests an attenuation of the condition of the justification of the infringement.

On this subject: an analysis: In Switzerland, political threat to press freedom

And the opinion of Reporters Without Borders: Provisional measures, a disastrous proposal for press freedom

English allowed in courts

The committee also proposes several adjustments to the senators’ copy. English must be able to be used in so-called commercial disputes if all parties so request.

The cantons will thus have more freedom regarding the use of other languages ​​during proceedings before the courts, judges the commission. A minority want to follow the Council of States and not allow the use of other languages.

Provisions concerning company lawyers are necessary, also judges the National commission. However, she wants to strike out the reciprocity requirement introduced by the senators. A minority refuses the introduction of a new rule, while another wants to side with the Council of States.

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Electronic communication accepted

On the other hand, the committee accepts without opposition the details given on the use of electronic means of transmitting sound and images. Introduced by the Federal Council as part of the measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the measures must permanently integrate the code of civil procedure.

Towards the establishment of duty judges to intervene at all times

In the process, the committee tabled by 19 votes to 4 a motion to provide preventive legal protection, in particular in the event of personal injury, outside of office hours. The measure is particularly necessary in the age of new media and electronic media, she said.

Many countries already have systems of duty judges for after-hours requests or special on-call services in courts, notes the committee. Preventive legal protection is reduced to nothing if super-provisional measures cannot be obtained as quickly as possible, and therefore often outside opening hours.

A picket service must therefore be created in the cantons, still believes the commission. It should be simple, easy to implement, inexpensive and efficient. Where possible, new electronic means of communication should also be used.

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