International Application of FIDIC Contracts, The
20.1 Outline of Switzerland’s legal environment
20.1.1 Constitutional structure
The Swiss Confederation is a federal republic composed of 26 Cantons (or Feder ated States).1 The Cantons are considered as sovereign to the extent they have not delegated their powers to the Confederation by amending the Constitution.2 They have done so in a variety of fields, such as foreign relations, the army, public construction works in the interests of the country as a whole, nuclear energy, monetary policy, international trade, and customs. They have also entrusted the Confederation with certain tasks, such as the protection of natural and cultural heritage and the protection of the environment, of forests, and of water resources. As in any federal system, powers are often shared, unless the Confederation fully “covers the field”, as is the case for private law, which is primarily codified in the Civil Code and Code of Obligations.