From 8 to 17 October 2017, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme organised a fact-finding tour for a delegation from the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China on the subjects of the constitutional review of legal norms and civil service law. The delegation visited Berlin, Nuremberg and Paris. It comprised twelve officials from various Commission departments (the Office for State Law, the Research Office and the Office for Recording and Examining Laws) and was led by Ms Wu Zeng, Director of the Office for State Law. The subject of constitutional review of legal norms was of special relevance in view of the Chinese Government’s plan to establish a procedure to verify that the country’s laws and regulations are compatible with its constitution. The choice of civil service law as the second subject of the tour relates to the establishment of a new parliamentary control system designed to fight corruption and the plans of the Chinese Government to streamline the system of career progression, promotion and incentivisation in the public sector.
At the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the delegation was welcomed by Dr Beatrix Lindner, Deputy Head of the policy planning unit International Legal Cooperation. Subsequently, Dr Heitland, Head of the Division Constitutional Law as it relates to Organs of the State; Law of Finance gave a presentation on the work of the Ministry in ensuring that draft legislation is compatible with the German constitution. At the Office of the Federal President, Professor Stefan Pieper gave a talk on the constitutionality reviews of adopted laws performed by the President. The delegates held further discussions with Professor Reinhard Gaier, a former judge at the Federal Constitutional Court on the Court’s role in performing abstract reviews of legal norms. Mr Jürgen Kipp, a judge at the Constitutional Court of Berlin and President of the Higher Administrative Court of Berlin-Brandenburg (now retired), and Ms Antje Werk, judge at the Regional Court of Berlin, explained the role of the state’s constitutional court.
With regard to civil service law, the delegation held talks at the Administrative Court in Berlin with administrative court judge Mr Raimund Bartl on the subject of disciplinary law for state and federal civil servants. At the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Mr Hans-Leo Dirks, Head of Division D2 Law on Civil Servants; Special Fields, gave the delegates a general overview of German civil service law and of federal legislation on career progression. At a meeting in Nuremberg’s city hall with the City Treasurer Harald Riedel and Chief Personnel Officer Wolfgang Heyer, there was an opportunity for the visitors to learn about the special rules governing elected public servants and the procedures for assessing and promoting civil servants at local authority level.
In discussions with Dr Rüdiger Reiff, senior public prosecutor, the delegation examined the anti-corruption strategy of the chief public prosecutor’s office in Berlin. Renke Daniel Müller-Hellmann, responsible for Compliance Monitoring and Processes at Deutsche Bahn AG, outlined the anti-corruption measures adopted by this federal enterprise. The programme concluded at Nuremberg city hall with a discussion of anti-corruption measures at municipal level with the responsible officer, Mr Jürgen Filbig.
In Paris, the delegation visited the offices of the French anti-corruption authority (Agence française anticorruption), where Mr Renaud Jaune explained the tasks of the newly formed agency in the fight against corruption.
Finally, at the Palais Royal, Ms Corinne Luqiens, a member of the Conseil constitutionnel (constitutional council), spoke about the original function and current role of the Council.