Federal court rejects appeal by tennis stunt climate activists

Climate activists took over a Lausanne branch of Credit Suisse bank on November 22, 2018, to draw attention to the bank's climate policy and investments. They urged tennis star Roger Federer to cancel his sponsorship deal with the bank because of its fossil fuel investments. © Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Switzerland’s highest court has rejected an appeal by 12 climate activists who staged a tennis stunt at Credit Suisse, upholding their conviction for trespassing.

This content was published on June 11, 2021 - 14:14

The Federal Court dismissed their argument that they had taken emergency action because of the “imminent danger” of global warming.

“At the moment of the action, there was no current and immediate danger in the sense of the criminal emergency regulation," it said in a statement on Friday.

In November 2018, the activists staged a protest at Credit Suisse in the western Swiss city of Lausanne. Some of them dressed in tennis whites and simulated tennis matches inside its premises. They wanted Swiss tennis star Roger Federer to drop his sponsorship deal with the bank because of its fossil fuels investments.

In a surprise initial ruling last year, a local court acquitted them on grounds that “imminent danger" of global warming had driven their actions. But that was overturned by an appeals court, whose decision has now been confirmed.

"The Federal Court is on the wrong side of history," defence lawyers said in a statement. They said the activists will take now their case to the European Court of Human Rights.

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