Who is concerned by the law?
Any person who was sentenced for having helped, in the Nazi era, victims of persecution flee or for having accommodated fleeing persons without reporting them to the authorities.
In the case of a conviction for other violations committed jointly with the main charge, cancellation applies as well if an overall assessment reveals that those violations appear to be subordinate to the main charge.
This law does not apply to persons who have exploited the distress of the victims of persecution during their escape, abandoned them or denounced them afterwards.
What does the law provide for?
The law cancels all sentences pronounced by the Military justice and by the Federal and Cantonal penal Courts against persons who helped fugitives during the Nazi period. All these persons are fully rehabilitated.
Furthermore, the law authorizes the Committee to assess upon request or pursuant to law - whether a penal case meets the requirements for cancellation according to said law.
Who can file a request?
The following are entitled to file a request:
- the convicted persons or, if deceased, their relatives; the latter include the spouse, the parents in direct blood relationship, brothers and sisters as well as adopted parents and children;
- the organizations (based in Switzerland and placed under Swiss jurisdiction) devoted to the defense of Human rights or to the up-dating of Swiss History during the Nazi period. These organizations can not file a request against the will of the sentenced person or, after his death, against the will of his or her relatives;
What can be obtained with the request?
The purpose of the request is to obtain from the Committee a report stating that the general cancellation act applies to a given penal sentence.
Rehabilitation does not imply entitlement to claim damages nor payment for moral tort.
The Committee publishes the cancellation of a penal sentence in the appropriate manner provided the applicant agrees.
What must the request contain and how should it be filed?
The request must be filed in writing and be signed. A copy of the conviction or indications as to how the sentence can be retrieved are to be enclosed.
The Committee will not address a request if an unreasonable proportion of research work is required to find the sentence.
Whom is the request filed to?
Requests aiming at having a sentence cancelled are to be filed at the following address:
Rehabilitation Committee of the Federal Assembly
Federal buildings (Bundeshaus/Palais fédéral)
CH 3003 Berne
Is a deadline to be met?
The request must be filed before 31 December 2008.
The Committee can address a request which has been filed beyond the deadline provided the delay can be justified. 31 December 2011 is however the latest date.
What happens if the request is rejected?
The Committee takes a final decision on cases submitted. No appeal is possible.
How much does the procedure cost?
The procedure is free of charge. It is organized in such a manner that no lawyer is required. No allowance has been planned for legal counsel costs.