From 4 to 10 September 2019, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme of the GIZ took a delegation of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress on a study tour of Germany and Italy on the topic of constitutional judicial review. Under the direction of Liang Ying, head of the Department of Legal Review and -Registration, the ten-member delegation conducted expert discussions at institutions in Berlin, Karlsruhe, Stuttgart and Rome. The background of the tour is the aim of the People’s Congress to improve the mechanisms for constitutional-law judicial review in China. The Department for Legal Review and -Registration of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress is currently in charge of this task.
The first appointment brought the delegation to the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer (FMJCP) Protection. Here the head of the department of Constitutional Law and State Organization, Dr Heitland, explained the examination of draft laws for constitutionality by the FMJCP and outlined the standard of review using concrete examples. At the visit to the Federal German Parliament, the delegation was greeted by Ms Kerstges, a member of the scientific service and Dr Schultheiß from the Office of the Committee for Law and Consumer Protection. At each of the appointments the delegation and the experts discussed the degree to which the Parliament is responsible for ensuring the constitutionality of laws. At the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin (Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin), the delegation had a dialogue with, Prof Grimm. the Professor of Public Law at the Humboldt University, who is also a retired Federal Constitutional Court judge. Prof. Grimm explained the role of the Federal Constitutional Court in the German political system and the standard of review employed by the Federal Constitutional Court in the scrutinizing of laws.
As part of the visit to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, the delegation was greeted by Dr Jacob, a research associate of the President of the Federal Constitutional Court and a judge at the Administrative court, together with his colleagues Dr Rolfsen and Dr Dittricht. They outlined in particular the internal processes of the Federal Constitutional Court in the review of legal norms for their compatibility with constitutional law.
The conclusion of the trip to Germany was a visit to the Constitutional Court of the state of Baden Württemberg in Stuttgart. Dr Graßhof, the President of the Constitutional Court, explained the procedures and the principles of the examination of state laws for their compatibility with the state constitution as well as the relation of the State Constitutional Court to the Federal Constitutional Court.