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Swiss lawmakers voted this week to reject a historic ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that accused the country of not doing enough to fight climate change, a vote that legal observers said sets a “concerning precedent” for global climate action, the Independent reported.

On Wednesday, the lower house of parliament announced that the ECHR “exceeded the limits of permissible legal development and disregarded Switzerland’s democratic decision-making processes.”

That vote came a week after the upper house approved a similar motion criticizing the court’s ruling, saying it was overreach into national affairs. Both legislative chambers accused the court of “judicial activism,” Politico noted.

At the same time, the government said its climate action plan was sufficient.

The move comes two months after a group of more than 2,000 Swiss women known as the “climate seniors” filed a lawsuit against the Swiss government, saying it was violating their human rights by failing to protect them from the impacts of climate change.

In April, the ECHR ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, a verdict that many climate advocates and analysts said established an international precedent to make governments legally accountable for inaction on the climate crisis.

But the Swiss legislature’s snub now puts into question how such verdicts can be enforced in the future. It remains unclear if the Swiss government will still comply with the ruling despite the parliament’s vote.

Officials have until October to report to the Council of Europe – which enforces rulings of the ECHR – about how it plans to implement the verdict.

No member country has ever outright refused to implement a judgment from the ECHR, according to council representatives.

Even so, data from the European Implementation Network indicates that nearly half of the most significant cases from the past decade have yet to be implemented, despite governments being legally obligated to do so.

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