Statutory duty, tasks and legal principles

Statutory duty

As the prosecutors’ office for the Confederation, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG) is responsible for investigating and prosecuting offences that fall under federal jurisdiction, as specified in Articles 23 and 24 of the Swiss Criminal Procedure Code (CrimPC; SR 312.0) and in other federal legislation.

These offences comprise classic state security crimes, i.e. criminal acts primarily directed against the Swiss Confederation or which strongly affect its interests. They also include complex intercantonal or international organised crime offences (including terrorism and its financing), money laundering and corruption. In certain circumstances, the OAG also has jurisdiction over cases of white collar crime that have an intercantonal or an international dimension. In addition, the OAG is responsible for executing requests for mutual assistance from foreign prosecution authorities. 

The OAG conducts its criminal investigations in close co-operation with the Federal Criminal Police (FCP). The OAG also co-operates closely with the cantonal law-enforcement authorities. As the OAG regularly conducts complex proceedings with international links, close co-operation with foreign law enforcement agencies is equally important. 

The tasks of the OAG are:

  1. Enforcing criminal law in relation to crimes that fall within federal jurisdiction by conducting investigations where there is sufficient suspicion that an offence has been committed;

  2. Initiating and consulting on new legislation on crime and criminal procedure, insofar as this is required in order to fight crime more efficiently;

  3. Supporting law enforcement in other countries by providing mutual assistance;

  4. Cooperating, coordinating, collaborating and exchanging information and expertise with partner authorities in Switzerland and with international organisations on various types of crime.

The Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland fulfils these tasks as an independent, self-governing authority by being suitably organised, and by making effective use of its human, financial and material resources (Art. 9 and 16 of the Federal Act on the Organisation of Federal Criminal Justice Authorities, Criminal Justice Authorities Act, SR 173.71). 

Legal principles