VIII. Publication of Federal Laws
Preliminary drafts and drafts of federal acts, as well as explanatory reports and the Federal Council’s dispatches, are all published in the Federal Gazette. The Federal Gazette (Bundesblatt, BBl; feuille fédérale FF) is the official journal confederation for standard publications and communications (Article 13 Publications Act). In order for a federal law to be properly enacted, however, it must be published in the official compilation of federal legislation (amtliche Sammlung, AS; recueil officiel, RO). It is through this publication that federal acts acquire binding legal force (Article 8 Publications Act). The official compilation is a chronological collection of all federal acts of legislation. Upon their entry into force, federal acts also become a part of the classified compilation of federal legislation (Systematische Sammlung, SR; recueil systématique, RS; Article 11 Publications Act). This compilation lists all federal laws and ordinances under the following categories according to their content:
1 State – People – Authorities
2 Private law – Civil justice – Enforcement
3 Criminal law – Criminal justice – Execution of sanctions
4 Education – Science – Culture
5 National defence
7 Public constructions – Energy – Transport
8 Health – Employment – Social security
9 Economy – Technical cooperation
The Swiss Federal Constitution is classified with the code SR 101. The civil code is classified with the number SR 210. Family Laws are enumerated starting at 211. As the act on registered partnership mainly concerns the family law status of same sex partners, it was allocated the number SR 211.231. This number allows the unequivocal identification of all federal acts.
SR-numbers starting with “0.” refer to international law that is part of the Swiss legislation. The numbering of international law follows the same classification method as the domestic law. The European Convention on Human Rights is classified at SR 0.101, for example. The Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention) of 29 May 1993 is filed under SR 0.211.221.311.