The Federal Criminal Court currently consists of three chambers, one for criminal cases and the other two for appeals. All of them are constituted by the Court’s Plenary Assembly for a period of two years. The Plenary Assembly elects the presidents of each chamber for identical terms, which may be renewed twice.
The Criminal Chamber rules in the first instance for criminal offences expressly falling under federal jurisdiction under Articles 23 and 24 of the Swiss Criminal Procedure Code (CPC, SR 312). In addition, it has some general and administrative criminal law jurisdiction under various federal acts.
The Lower Appeals Chamber hears federal criminal appeals against procedural decisions and actions by the police and the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland (OAG), as well as against decisions taken by coercive measures courts and the Criminal Chamber. Furthermore, Art. 37 para. 2 of the Criminal Justice Authorities Act (CJAA, SR 173.71) grants the chamber various other competences, notably in international mutual assistance for criminal matters and in administrative criminal law.
As the second instance in federal criminal cases, the Higher Appeals Chamber hears appeals against Criminal Chamber judgments that wholly or partially conclude proceedings as well as applications for a review of judgments.