Clear Legislation


  • [1] Gérard Caussignac is a Swiss lawyer. He is currently employed in the State Chancellery as the Head of Government Services for the Jura area and the person responsible for the legislation of the Canton of Berne in the French language (the Canton is bilingual German and French).

    This text is an English translation of a text written in French for the International Cooperation Group of the Department of Justice of Canada. The original title is Une législation claire.

  • [2] The Canton of Berne is one of the twenty-six cantons making up the Swiss Confederation.

  • [3] See article 69, paragraph 4, of the Constitution of the Canton of Berne. Such norms are held to include:

    1. those that prescribe the major principles governing the legal status of individuals;
    2. those that set out the purpose of public contributions (meaning taxes of all kinds), the way in which they are calculated and the persons who are subject to them;
    3. those that determine the purpose, nature and the framework of major benefits provided by the Canton;
    4. those that determine the major outlines of the organisation and duties of the authorities;
    5. those that impose new tasks on the Canton.
  • [4] A referendum must be held if not fewer than 10,000 members of the public sign a petition for a vote (called a referendum) within a period of three months.

  • [5] According to article 5, paragraph 1, of the federal law dated 20 December 1968, respecting administrative procedure (RS 172.021), administrative rulings are measures taken by the authorities in individual cases on the basis of federal public law for the purpose of:

    1. creating, modifying or cancelling rights and obligations;
    2. confirming the existence, non-existence or extent of rights or obligations;
    3. rejecting applications designed to create, modify, cancel or confirm rights or obligations or declarations to the effect that such applications are inadmissible.

    This definition also applies to the administrative rulings of the Canton of Berne. In civil and criminal proceedings, decisions are made by the judicial authorities (the courts) and are referred to as judgments or judicial decisions.

  • [6] Directives of the Canton of Berne dated 22 March 2000, respecting legislative procedure. They can be obtained from the State Chancellery at the following address:

  • [7] Cantonal Constitution, Code of Civil Procedure and Code of Criminal Procedure, each of which also includes an alphabetical index to its contents. The compilation of legislation respecting construction provides only an alphabetical index of the subjects covered.

  • [8] Recueil officiel des lois bernoises (ROB), consisting of one volume per year containing all the enactments of the legislature in order of appearance. Each enactment bears a number, and they are issued together in twelve parts, published monthly. At the beginning of the following year, the consolidation of the preceding year is augmented by four tables of contents arranged by the numbers of the enactments, the date of enactment, the number in the systematic consolidation and the key words they contain.

  • [9] Recueil systématique des lois bernoises (RSB).

  • [10] (French Only)

  • [11] See Endnote 10.

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