From May 10 to 17, 2019, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme of GIZ organized and accompanied a fact-finding trip to Germany and Finland on the topic of regulatory offences for six civil servants of the administrative law department of the Legislative Affairs Commission (LAC) of the National People’s Congress. Led by ZHANG Guilong, Deputy Director of the department of administrative law, the delegation visited institutions in Berlin, Munich and Helsinki and attended experts’ discussions on the law of regulatory offences. The background to the visit is the planned reform of the Chinese Administrative Sanctions Law of 1996.
In Munich the delegation had meetings with the Regional Administrative Office and with the District Court, the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Administrative Office of the police. The speakers gave presentations on official regulatory offences proceedings and the basic principles of opposition proceedings, as well as the subsequent judicial review of the assessment. On top of this, the special role of public prosecutors’ offices in the case of financial regulatory offences and criminal offences was discussed in detail
At the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the delegation was given an introduction to the division of legislative competences between the federation and the states in criminal and administrative sanctions law, and to the demarcation of both legal areas in practice. This was followed by a meeting at the Humboldt-University on the basic concepts and guiding principles of regulatory offence law in Germany – for example, the prohibition of double jeopardy. There were additional meetings for the group at the Central Fines Office of the Police Headquarters in Berlin and at the Finance Authority for Criminal Affairs and Tax Investigation, at which individual aspects of the official fine- and investigative proceedings were explored.
The trip concluded with two appointments in Helsinki. To begin with, the delegation was able to get an overview of Finnish law on administrative sanctions at the Finnish Interior Ministry. The Ministry also invited representatives of the national police authority, who gave the delegation an introduction to official proceedings and questions regarding the ascertainment of facts in practice. The concluding meeting took place at the University of Helsinki, where the delegates discussed with two scholars the basic principles of administrative sanctions law in Finland and on demarcating it from criminal law.