Due to the reconceptualization of rape and other sexual offenses as violations of the victim’s sexual autonomy and in view of the obligations arising from international and regional human rights law, more and more European legal systems are revising their understanding of sexual offenses to reflect the victim’s consent. The wind of change has reached Switzerland, too.
The introduction of a consent-based definition of rape is currently a subject of discussion in Switzerland. Like the criminal laws of many other countries, the Swiss Criminal Code still defines rape as “coerced sexual intercourse” involving either violence, threats, or psychological pressure. Until today, the ignoring of the victim’s explicit “no,” without more, is not sufficient to establish the definitional elements of the sexual offense of rape.
The aim of the project is to monitor closely the progress of the reform process and to examine and discuss the reform proposals in Switzerland. Furthermore, a response to the consultation process (a key element of Switzerland's legislative system) will be developed and submitted to the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police.
Expected outcome: Scientific articles; participation in the consultation process.


  • Nora Scheide­g­ger, Das Sexu­al­stra­frecht der Sch­weiz, Grundla­gen und Re­formbe­darf (2018)
  • Nora Scheide­g­ger, Stra­frecht­liches Neu­land: Stealth­ing (Ur­teils­an­merkung), FRI News­let­ter 09/2019
  • Nora Scheide­g­ger et al., Re­formbe­darf im sch­weizerischen Sexu­al­stra­frecht – „Ego­istisch, rück­sichtslos, kaltherzig“ – aber stra­frecht­lich nicht rel­ev­ant? sui-gen­er­is 57–75 (2020) ht­tps://sui-gen­er­is.ch/art­icle/view/sg.122/1253/.
  • Kom­men­tier­ung der Art. 187-200 StGB sow­ie 372-380a StGB in Graf Dami­an (Hrsg.), An­notiert­er Kom­ment­ar StGB, 2020

Planned pub­lic­a­tions:

  • Bal­an­cing Sexu­al Autonomy, Re­spons­ib­il­ity, and the Right to Pri­vacy: Prin­ciples for Crim­in­al­iz­ing Sex by De­cep­tion, Ger­man Law Journ­al, Spe­cial Is­sue 2021
  • Re­form des Sexu­al­stra­frechts: Was bish­er geschah (pre­sum­ably ZStrR)
  • Vernehm­las­sungsant­wort