Federica De Rossa re-elected to the Federal Court for the coming six years


Institutional Communication Service

28 September 2020

The Director of USI Law Institute (IDUSI) has been re-elected Deputy Judge of the Federal Supreme Court, the highest judicial body in Switzerland, in the context of the full renewal for the administrative period 2021-2026. Professor Federica De Rossa talks about her role in the Supreme Court, a position that she holds in parallel with her work at USI, and its positive impact on her scientific research and courses.


Professor De Rossa, what does your position at the Federal Supreme Court consist of?

I am one of the 19 deputy judges (also called non-professional judges) who sit alongside the 38 ordinary judges of the Federal Supreme Court. As the latter, we are elected by the Federal Assembly and exercise the same function, an ancillary capacity. It means that, although we do not participate daily in the work of the Court, when a case is assigned to us we perform the same duties as ordinary judges and have the same rights and responsibilities as them. My job, therefore, consists of examining the files assigned to me and drawing up a proposal for a decision. The proposal then circulates among the other judges who make up the judging panel and each one expresses his or her opinion on it. If a unanimous verdict is reached among us judges, the case is decided by circulation. If not, a public session is called, and the Court then decides orally, by majority.


Does your role as Judge have an impact on your teaching and research activities?

This function is perfectly compatible with my role as a university professor. The two activities complement and enrich each other. On the one hand, the scientific rigour that I have learned to apply in research also guides me in my work as a deputy, and my academic status ensures the necessary independence required for my activity as a judge. On the other hand, being a judge in a Court that deals with the issues tackled in my research and my teaching, offers me the chance for a first-hand experience on real-life dynamics from a privileged observatory; this perspective is then reflected in the classroom, in the interaction with my students, and my publications.


Federica De Rossa, after obtaining a degree in Law from the University of Fribourg she passed the Swiss Bar examination and earned her PhD in Law (at the University of Fribourg) with a dissertation that won the Vigener award in 2010. Since September 2017, she has been a Senior Assistant Professor on tenure track in Law of Economics within the Faculty of Economics. She also heads USI Law Institute and is Deputy judge at the Federal Supreme Court (II. Court of Public Law, Lausanne) and lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lucerne. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Finanzmarktrecht (SZW/RSDA), she is on the list of Legal Experts for the provision of independent external expertise to the Research Services of the European Parliament, President of the Ethical Committee at USI, as well as a member of the examining committee for advocacy in the Ticino Canton, the Swiss section of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ-CH) and numerous other professional and academic associations. Until 2014, she had been a member of the Swiss Authority for regulating the postal market (Federal Postal Services Commission PostCom).