Federal Office of Justice

International Protection of Adults

What is it about?

The increasing mobility of individuals as well as the ageing of the population has led to a growing need for cross-border assistance measures in relation to the protection of adults. In order to provide the best possible protection to adults needing assistance in cases with an international dimension, Switzerland has ratified the Hague Convention of 13 January 2000 on the International Protection of Adults (HC 2000; RS and has also amended art. 85 FAPIL (Federal Act of 18 December 1987 on International Private Law; RS 291). These came into force on 1 July 2009.

  1. An adult under guardianship wants to move abroad (to a Contracting State to the Convention). The guardianship authority must ensure that the measure is recognised abroad and that a similar measure is taken under domestic law to discharge the guardian from his or her duties. The Guardianship authority will be able to address its request to the cantonal central authority, which will pass it on to the competent foreign central authority.
  2. A Swiss man has been living in France since his retirement ten years ago. He has assets in Switzerland and in France. He is suffering from senile dementia and is incapable of managing his affairs. The assets will have to be sold in order to release sufficient funds to pay for the man's care in France. He has a son who lives in Switzerland. Several years ago, the man gave his son power of attorney to act on his behalf in the event that he (the father) were to suffer an incapacitating illness certified by a Swiss doctor. As the Convention applies to both countries, the power of attorney will be recognised in France and the son will be able to act on behalf of his father in order to take steps required to put his affairs in order. The rights of representation would be exercised in accordance with French law.

Contact / questions
Federal Office of Justice
Central Authority for International Adult protection
Bundesrain 20
CH-3003 Berne
T +41 58 463 88 64, F +41 58 462 78 64