New VOSTRA Criminal Records Information System
The VOSTRA criminal records information system, which is fully automated, records judgments, sanctions and decisions in accordance with the Criminal Records Register Act (CRRA) and the associated Criminal Records Register Ordinance (CRRO). It is run by the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ), enabling federal and cantonal authorities to obtain information on persons’ previous convictions and supporting the authorities in fulfilling various statutory tasks, such as conducting criminal proceedings, naturalisation procedures or aptitude tests for military or civilian service. The Criminal Records Unit also provides members of the public on request with a standard private extract from the Register or with a special private extract in specific situations.
In 2016, the overall revision of the criminal records legislation was approved by Parliament. The comprehensive revision of the VOSTRA database was part of this. The new VOSTRA takes account of the changing security needs of society and uses the OASI number as an additional unique identifier, in particular to improve data quality, increase the efficiency of data processing and ensure data protection measures are taken for individuals.
The modernised VOSTRA criminal records information system makes it possible to enter and manage criminal records data securely, quickly and in a user-friendly manner. In particular, courts, public prosecutors' offices and prison authorities can now save the data from their own systems directly in VOSTRA at the push of a button and dispense with manual input. The new system thus makes an important contribution to digitalisation in the criminal justice system.
- Start of project: June 2016.
- June 2018: Reassessment of the existing plan.
- October 2018: Adoption of new plan → Special feature: Drafting of the Ordinance in parallel with the project and entry into force on the introduction date.
- 23 January 2023: Entry into force of the new legislation on criminal records (Criminal Records Register Act and Criminal Records Register Ordinance), with the new version of VOSTRA coming into operation.
Switzerland has a modern, coherent legal foundation in terms of the rights to data and its use
Digital public services
Public authorities offer their services digitally as standard (digital first).
Laws are designed in such a way that they encourage digitalisation instead of inhibiting it. Authorities at all federal levels conduct their business digitally whenever possible and wherever practical. If necessary, non-digital solutions are also offered.