Revision of the Swiss Civil Procedure Code as of 1 January 2025: Short commentary


In view of the revision of the Swiss Civil Procedure Code ("CPC"), several lawyers from the CMS Zurich practice groups Litigation/Arbitration and Private Clients have authored, together with Prof. em. Dr. Karl Spühler, a new short commentary on the revised CPC. The new law will enter into force on 1 January 2025 and will contain a number of important changes, including the following:

  • The cantons will be allowed to establish specialised courts for international commercial disputes (Art. 6 para. 4 let. c revised CPC). In addition, the cantons may entitle the parties to choose English as the procedural language for this type of processes (Art. 129 para. 2 let. b revised CPC).
  • New provisions on advances on costs (Art. 98 para. 2 revised CPC), liquidation of legal costs (Art. 111 revised CPC) and legal aid (Art. 118 revised CPC) are introduced to facilitate access to justice.
  • Swiss companies will, under certain circumstances, be able to rely on an in-house counsel privilege (Art. 167a revised CPC). This will enable them to refuse participation in the taking of evidence in connection with the activities of their legal departments.
  • With the consent of the parties, courts may conduct hearings (Art. 141a revised CPC), examine witnesses (Art. 170a revised CPC), take expert evidence (Art. 187 para. 1 revised CPC) and question parties (Art. 193 revised CPC) by videoconference as well as other electronic means.
  • While the principle of free assessment of evidence remains unaffected, the opinions of experts appointed by a party will be treated as documentary evidence and will no longer be considered as a mere party allegation (Art. 177 revised CPC).
  • The competence of the conciliation authority and the scope of application of conciliation procedures will be extended. For example, conciliation authorities may now propose decisions on higher amounts in dispute (Art. 210 para. 1 let. c revised CPC) and a voluntary conciliation procedure is introduced for processes before cantonal courts of sole instance (Art. 198 let. f and Art. 199 para. 3 revised CPC).

To learn more about the changes introduced in the revised CPC, you may wish to consult our short commentary or reach out to your key contacts at CMS Zurich.