Parliament wants to make it easier to prevent unpopular media reports

In the modernization of the Code of Civil Procedure, Parliament has driven in the first stakes. One of them concerns unpopular media articles: In the future, they can be prevented more easily with a superprovisional injunction than today.

ParlamentBy 183 votes to 1 with two abstentions, the National Council approved the revised Swiss Code of Civil Procedure on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. The Code of Civil Procedure must be lay-friendly, said Philipp Matthias Bregy (center/VS) on behalf of the Legal Affairs Committee. The commission was guided by this in its proposals.

Correction requests failed

Sibel Arslan (Greens/BS) stated that litigation would remain unaffordable for many people seeking justice. The left and also the SVP wanted to make corrections with minority motions in order to reduce the costs even further, but were defeated throughout.

However, it was not so much the new provisions that gave rise to discussion as a provision on superprovisional injunctions to temporarily prevent unwanted media reports. Today, a court can stop a media report if it could cause a particularly serious disadvantage for the party making the request.

However, this may only be ordered if there is no obvious justification and the measure does not appear disproportionate. The Federal Council wants to specify in the article that the media report in question may cause or is causing a particularly serious disadvantage.

Focus on those affected

Both councils deleted the word "special". Thus, in addition to the other criteria, a "serious disadvantage" is sufficient as justification for ordering a precautionary measure. The National Council agreed with the Council of States. The proponents argued that the interests of those affected by the reports were at stake.

Bregy defended himself against the accusation that the commission was attacking media freedom. There is no right to destroy livelihoods with sensational stories, said Judith Bellaiche (GLP/ZH).

Red-Green would have wanted to stay in line with the Federal Council, but was defeated by 81 votes to 99. Raphaël Mahaim (Greens/VD) and Min Li Marti (SP/ZH) spoke of an attack on media freedom. The Council also rejected a motion from the SP to remove the controversial article from the bill. (sda).


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