Lausanne, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) - Taiwan, in its first attempt to fight an international organization in court to keep the name “Republic of China (Taiwan)”, has lost its case in Swiss courts. A Swiss federal tribunal of the Supreme Court ruled 9 September that it would not hear an appeal from Taiwan after a lower court in Geneva ruled its case inadmissable.
The International Standards Organization (ISO) was taken to court in Geneva in 2007 by Taiwan over the ISO’s use of “Taiwan, province of China” to designate the island in international standards. The Geneva court refused to hear the case, which cites articles 28 and 29 (which deals with international law) of the Swiss Civil Code. Taiwan then appealed to the Swiss federal civil high court in Lausanne. Thursday the higher court ruled that Taiwan’s case does not fall within the jurisdiction of civil courts: in its own words according to court documents, the ruling notes, Taiwan is “battling politically for its existence as an independent democratic state to be recognized internationally.”
According to Taiwan media, citing the ministry of foreign affairs, “In its decision, the Swiss court said that Taiwan has all the elements of statehood and is legally eligible to file a lawsuit against the ISO over an incorrect reference to Taiwan in the ISO country code list, the foreign ministry said.”
The Swiss federal court notes only, in its public announcement that the Geneva court declared Taiwan’s case inadmissable and by extension, unfounded.
Ed. note: the full text of the decision will eventually be available publicly, online: search for 5A_329/2009 on the federal court site. The date for publishing it is not yet known, but it could be several weeks.