The Sino-German exchange for judges has been conducted since 2011. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economic Co-operation and Development to implement the Sino-German exchange for judges as a project of the Robert Bosch Stiftung foundation. On the Chinese side, the partners in the cooperation arrangement are the Supreme People’s Court and the higher people’s courts of the participating provinces, while the partners in Germany are the state departments of justice and the courts of the participating German federal states.
The exchange for judges aims to establish long-term sharing of expertise between judges in the two countries, a process that will be intensified and deepened over time. The exchange is intended to deepen the mutual understanding of each other’s justice system and professional conditions, which are shaped by political and sociocultural contexts that differ in many respects. As a result, alongside its justice-related objectives, the exchange equally helps to cultivate international understanding.
The exchange for judges focuses on study trips by Chinese and German judges from selected Chinese provinces and German federal states to the respective partner federal state or partner province. Over the following years, the contacts established will be strengthened and deepened in the course of visits intensifying the relationships. The exchanges take place in various courts of the respective partner provinces or federal states. Court visits give participants an insight into a normal working day and the external working conditions of their counterparts in the other country. These are supplemented by visits to other justice institutions, for instance those of the department of justice or the prison service. The expert dialogue centres on fundamental issues concerning the organisation of the judiciary, the judge’s role and procedural as well as substantive law issues. Since 2011, more than 900 judges from the two countries have so far taken part in the exchange. The exchange for judges thus spans a bridge from China to Germany that connects the people involved in the justice systems of both countries.
The following partnerships are currently in place as part of the exchange for judges:
- between Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (since 2011), Gansu province and the directly government-controlled City of Tianjin (both since 2016) and the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia,
- between Shaanxi province (since 2012), Sichuan province and the directly government-controlled City of Chongqing (both since 2016) and the Regional Court of Dresden, German Free State of Saxony,
- between the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region (since 2013), Shandong and Shanxi provinces (both since 2016) and the German Federal States of Berlin and Brandenburg – which are connected at judicial level through common higher courts,
- between the provinces of Henan (since 2010/2014), Hebei and Jiangsu (both since 2016) and the German Federal State of Baden-Württemberg,
- between the provinces of Hainan (since 2015), Guangxi and Yunnan (both since 2016) and the German Free State of Bavaria, and
- between the provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning (since 2016) and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg;
- in Jahr 2017 the province Jiangsu and the German Federal State of Hessen will become new partners of the Sino-German exchange for judges.
Participants of the Sino-German exchange for judges are selected in Germany by the participating state departments of justice, and in China by the Supreme People’s Court.
For further information on the exchange for judges, visit the website of Robert Bosch Stiftung (in German).