The Sino-German Exchange for Lawyers is a project of the Robert Bosch Stiftung. It has been implemented since 2015 by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The project works with the German Federal Bar Association (BRAK) and the All China Lawyers Association. Alongside training for judges and public administration officials, the strengthening of the legal profession (practising lawyers) is crucial to China’s development into a nation governed by the rule of law. As independent actors within the legal system, lawyers can act as a counterweight to the authority of the various state bodies. They mediate between the law and society by informing citizens about the legal position and providing the legal advice that often enables their clients to assert their rights effectively in court in the first place.
The Sino-German Exchange for Lawyers facilitates regular contact between Chinese lawyers and their German counterparts, allowing them to exchange information and consult each other on professional matters. It also strengthens the work of the All China Lawyers Association. The goal of the exchange is to establish and maintain an institutionalised dialogue between Chinese and German lawyers. By creating a platform for discussion of specific legal matters and wider legal values, the scheme is designed to foster China’s transformation into a nation governed by the rule of law. Annual events are organised to raise awareness among participants of legal problems in the other country and of the particular conditions in which their counterparts work, resulting from the different political, social and cultural environment. At the same time, the scheme helps participants to build professional and personal networks. A multiplier effect is achieved through follow-up events at which participants share their experiences with colleagues.
In principle, all Chinese and German lawyers are eligible to join the scheme. Participants are selected by the All China Lawyers Association and the German Federal Bar Association, both of which publish advance details of planned exchange activities for their members.
An article (in German) on the Sino-German Exchange for Lawyers scheme can be found in the magazine of the German Federal Bar Association at: