The SCLA seminar “Swiss Rules of Procedure” was held online on March 6, 2021. The event was well attended, and 19 delegates from home and abroad were invited to attend. The attendees included German lawyer Samantha Mathieu, Malaysian lawyer Khoo Kok Chong, British lawyer Amjad Malik, Denton Law Firm Zhou Jingping, Jincheng & Tongda Law Firm Zhang Yunyan, Guangdong Guanghe (Longgang) Law Firm Li Lei, Beijing Foreign Studies University China-Africa Law Institute researcher Wu Pengfei, Beijing Zhongdun Law Firm Ding Xiang, Guangdong Xingchen Wang Fuyun of Guangdong Sincere Partners & Attorneys, Li Chengyu of Guangxi Guanghe Law Firm, and Guo Xuewen of Open Atomic Foundation.
The guest speaker of this seminar was Eric Fiechter, a two-time judge of the Geneva Court of Appeal and a founding member of the Swiss-Chinese Law Association. He graduated from the University of Geneva Law School in 1973 and received his Master’s degree from New York University in 1975. He served two terms as a judge of the Geneva Court of Appeal between 1997 and 2011. He has been practicing law at Des Gouttes Associés since 2011. He also serves on the Board of Directors of ASBS Singapore.
Eric Fiechter gave a presentation on the characteristics of the Swiss deliberative system and some of his reflections in this seminar. At the beginning of the event, Fiechter shared with the audience the latest developments regarding the way motions are being voted on as the current rules of procedure in Switzerland this weekend. He pointed out that this type of voting frequently happens in Swiss democracy and affects every aspect of how people think and live. He noted that Switzerland is a unique country. It is a small country, yet it is made up of 26 cantons and is made up of more than 190 nationalities from around the world. In 1848, Switzerland became a unified federal state with a new constitution. However, the cantons have a great deal of power, and the court system is not uniform, making it challenging to apply federal law across the cantons. As a result, most of the power remains with the cantons, and the central government cannot use its powers unless they are explicitly granted. The central government is composed of seven ministers who lead collectively, take turns in office, and serve for a limited time. Afterward, Samantha, a delegate from Germany, and Zhou zhengping, a delegate from China, actively spoke and participated in a lively discussion.
The Swiss-Chinese Law Association was founded in 2019 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. It promotes legal understanding and cooperation between Switzerland and China by facilitating exchanges between lawyers, academics, public and private sectors in international investment, dispute resolution, M&A restructuring, public policy, and international organization relations. The goal of SCLA is to become a global community, a global vision, and a global voice for Swiss and Chinese lawyers. With a membership of more than 160 members representing various professions from over 14 countries, SCCLA is also committed to advocating and building a more transparent and high-standard legal market and legal services system. Its publication, the Swiss-Chinese Law Review, is well known in the industry.