As part of the Sino-German Judges’ Exchange Programme, a ten-person delegation of Chinese judges visited the federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate from May 5 to 10, 2019. The delegates were judges from the Higher People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China and from Higher and Intermediate People’s Courts of the provinces Fujian and Hubei. This return visit helped to further cement the partnership established in 2018 between the courts of Fujian and Hubei and those of Rhineland-Palatinate.
On May 6, the Chinese delegation paid a visit to the Robert Bosch Foundation in Stuttgart. They were greeted on behalf of the foundation by Christian Hänel, the Head of International Relations for America and Asia, and Eberhard Stilz, a member of the Board of Trustees. The delegation learned about projects carried out by the Robert Bosch Foundation both with and within China. Following this, the Chinese judges made their way to Mainz, where they were received by Rhineland-Palatinate’s Minister for Justice, Herbert Metin. In the Ministry for Justice, the delegates were also given an introduction to the Rhineland-Palatinate judiciary and the state’s penal system.
The delegation’s following day began with a visit to the State Court in Mainz, were they were greeted by the Court’s President. In a workshop held afterwards in the Ministry of Justice, the judges discussed the locus standi rule in administrative procedural law with their local counterparts. That afternoon, the delegation attended a court hearing in a civil matter, gaining some insights into German civil procedure law and its implementation in practice. They then compared notes with German civil court judges on the topic of ‘Collective Legal Protection in Civil (Procedure) Law’.
On May 8, the delegation visited the State Court in Landau in the Palatinate, where they were greeted by the President of the State Court. In a workshop in the main courtroom of the State Court, which, in addition to the President, was also attended by other judges from Landau, the Chinese and German judges swapped ideas on possible obstacles standing in the way of a swift rulings in civil law. They also discussed how these obstacles might be surmounted through appropriate procedural rules and the organization of proceedings.
The delegation moved on to Koblenz on May 9. In the Koblenz Judiciary Centre, the Chinese judges were received by the Presidents of the Rhineland-Palatinate Higher Administrative Court and Constitutional Court. This was followed by an introduction to administrative jurisdiction in Rhineland-Pfalz. In the afternoon, the final workshop of this fact-finding trip took place in the Koblenz Higher State Court. Its topics were the expedited proceedings in the Code of Civil Procedure, judicial dunning proceedings and other civil procedure regulations that help to speed up proceedings.
On May 10, the Chinese judges’ delegation concluded their trip with a visit to the Digital Centre of the Koblenz Higher State Court, where they familiarized themselves with the level of digitization in the Rhineland-Palatinate judiciary.