Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section M. Right to appeal
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “The right of recourse in appeal, cassation and review shall be ensured.”
Switzerland’s Criminal Procedure Code (2007), as amended to 2012, which regulates the prosecution and adjudication by the federal and cantonal criminal justice authorities of offences under federal law, including war crimes, states: “An appeal is permitted against judgments of courts of first instance that conclude the proceedings in their entirety or in part.”
In 2007, in its third periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Switzerland stated:
In Decision ATF 129 I 281 et seq.
, the Federal Court found that the right accorded to all persons charged with a criminal offence by article 2 of the seventh Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights and by article 14, paragraph 5, of the International Covenant [on Civil and Political Rights] to have his conviction reviewed by a higher court would be unacceptably voided of content if the necessary defence was limited to the proceedings in first instance and if a convicted person lacking the necessary resources had to take charge of the appeal proceedings himself, when representation by a lawyer would be essential for the effective exercise of his rights of defence. Where necessary defence is concerned, a defendant – or convicted person – whose poverty is recognized has, in principle, an unconditional right to free assistance, even in appeal proceedings which he initiates himself.