Swiss man looks to take government to EU court over TV licence fee

Swiss man looks to take government to EU court over TV licence fee

A man has decided to sue the Swiss government for issuing TV licence bills on a “per household” basis, rather than per person. The man claimed that the practice was discrimination against people who are single. 

Swiss courts dismiss man’s TV licence case

Initially, the man - who had his case dismissed by the Federal Office of Communications and the Federal Administrative Court - was appealing against an order by Serafe to pay the annual fees for his radio and television. In his legal battle, the man argued that the way that payments are structured - per household - is in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). 

The man’s argument was that the radio and television fee discriminated against him as the sole owner of a house by charging him the same as a multi-person household. The Federal Supreme Court in Switzerland dismissed this argument and said that the court found no evidence of discrimination against singles. 

Man determined to take case to European Court of Human Rights

Despite this, the man is still determined to get justice for his case. He has now pledged that he and his lawyers will take the case to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. 

The man told the Tagblatt newspaper that he supports a referendum which aims to lower the price of the TV licence. The proposal asks for the Serafe fee to be reduced from 335 Swiss francs per household per year to 200 francs a year. 

Image: / Oleg Mikhaylov

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily grew up in the UK before moving abroad to study International Relations and Chinese. She then obtained a Master's degree in International Security and gained an interest in journalism....

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