Johann Jakob Rüttimann

Johann Jakob Rüttimann

Johann Jakob Rüttimann (17.3.1813  – 10.1.1876) was a law professor at the University of Zurich and later at the Swiss Institute of Technology, a senator for the Canton of Zurich, a member and president of the Federal Tribunal and a co-founder of Credit Suisse and a vice president of its board for many years.

Johann Jakob Rüttimann was born on 17. 3.1813 and died on 10. 1. 1876 in Zurich. In 1827 he entered the Gelehrtenschule and in 1829 the Politisches Institut of Zurich. He among others was a student of Friedrich Ludwig Keller and Johann Caspar Bluntschli. He first held several public legal offices and practiced as an attorney. In 1837 he spent a sabbatical of four months in England to study the English system of jury trials; a report on this stay was instrumental for the introduction of the jury trials in civil, military and criminal procedure of the Canton of Zurich. He was politically active in the liberal party (Freisinnige). In 1834 he became a member of the cantonal legislature and therafter of the executive. Since 1845 he was active on the Federal level; he was a member of the Cantonal Deputation. On the cantonal level he was a responsible for various legislative projects. From 1847 to 1859 he wrote a book “Der englische Zivilprozess mit besonderer Berücksichtigung des Verfahrens der Westminster Rechtshöfe” (The british civil procedure, with special reference to the procedure of the Westminster courts). He was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the University of Zurich. In 1848 Johann Jakob Rüttimann was a strong advocate of the introduction of the American bicameral system in the Swiss Constitution. From 1848 to 1854 and from 1862 – 1868 he was a member of the Ständerat (senat) and acted twice as its president. He was the author of the Federal Code of criminal procedure of July 23rd 1849 and the Federal Code of civil procedure of November 22 1850, the Code of military criminal law of August 27th and the Code Criminal Law of February 1853. He became a professor of law at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal institute of Technology; he thereafter relinquished all its offices on the Federal level. With Alfred Escher, he was a member of the Executive of the Canton of Zurich. As a closer friend and colleague of Alfred Escher he was active in economic affairs, as a founder of the Zürich-Bodenseebahn (railway), which later was integrated in the Schweizerische Nordostbahn. In 1857 he was a founder of the Bank Credit Suisse. He became Alfred Eschers main advisor in legal matters and the legal conscience of the enterprises he co-founded with Escher. He was deeply involved in the revision of the Constitution of the Canton of Zurich. In 1875 he was elected to the Cassationsgericht of the Canton of Zurich. He was teaching at the same time at the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. His major work was the “Das nordamerikanische Bundesstaatsrecht, verglichen mit den politischen Einrichtungen der Schweiz”, which dealt in three volumes on a comparative basis with the Constitutional law of Northamerica comparing it to the political legal institutions of Switzerland. Johann Jakob Rüttimann never was in the United States, he acquired his knowledge by studying sources and literatures in Zurich
Translated of Deutsche Biographie and partially shortened by editor Biography under www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/d/D3683.php

© Prof. Jens Drolshammer, office@drolshammer.com,  www.drolshammer.net

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