No on enforcement initiative

The Swiss popular initiative “Implementing the expulsion of foreign criminals” makes generalizations that are constitutionally unacceptable. Neither the individual situation nor the severity of the criminal offense is taken into account. At the same time, it disregards human rights principles protecting the family. Therefore, the FSPC rejects the initiative that will be put to the vote on February 28, 2016.

The Swiss popular initiative “Implementing the expulsion of foreign criminals (enforcement initiative)” is incompatible with Switzerland’s constitutional foundations.  The basic principles of Swiss criminal law – equity and proportionality – would be abrogated by the mechanism of automatic deportation proposed by the initiative. The initiative wants to abandon case-by-case reviews in the deportation process. The arbitrary addition of criminal offenses that would automatically lead to expulsion contradicts constitutional principles regarding the sense and purpose of penalization and resocialization.

Automatic deportation arbitrarily tears families apart with no regard to relationships of parental or familial care. This disregard of the human right to a family life makes one thing clear: the initiative demands that international humanitarian law should take a back seat to national law. Once this precedent has been established, there will be no stopping it from encroaching on other contexts.

Finally, the name “Enforcement initiative” muddles the initiative’s true aims. The intention is not to enforce the popular initiative “For the deportation of criminal foreigners (deportation initiative)” that was adopted by popular vote on November 28, 2010, but rather to tighten it by expanding its catalogue of offenses.