On 30 June 2000, the People’s Republic of China and the Federal Republic of Germany signed the Sino-German Agreement on Exchange and Cooperation in the Legal Field. This agreement provided the basis in international law for the expansion and intensification of bilateral relations in the field of law and paved the way for the comprehensive Sino-German Rule of Law Dialogue.
The annual highlight of the Rule of Law Dialogue is a symposium hosted by the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council (LAOSC) of the People’s Republic of China and the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection in collaboration with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The event has been held alternately in China and Germany every year since 2000. Apart from the Federal Minister of Justice and the Director of the LAOSC, the three-day symposium is attended by a large number of practitioners and academics from ministries, courts, professional associations, law firms, business enterprises, research institutions and universities. They put forward recommendations on issues that are particularly relevant to the rule of law in both Germany and China. The topics addressed in symposiums to date have included: Administration under the rule of law and the protection of individual rights (2000); Disclosure of governmental and administrative information (2005); Criminal procedure law in countries governed by the rule of law (2011), and Regulatory systems and mechanisms to protect consumer rights in the digital age (2016). The Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme provides specialist and organisational support for the symposium.
Below the political level, the Sino-German Rule of Law Dialogue is intensified through a wide range of bilateral projects and standalone measures. In addition to the activities of the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme, the Dialogue encompasses numerous projects conducted by ministries, political and private foundations, universities and professional associations of legal practitioners.