To foster legal certainty and thus ensure that court decisions are broadly accepted, judges must apply the law in a uniform and consistent manner, so that the same facts lead to similar verdicts. Only by improving the quality and transparency of court rulings, can the trust of citizens in the law as a means of conflict resolution be strengthened in the long run. To help achieve and sustain such judicial uniformity, predictability and fairness, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme supports the initial and continuing training of Chinese judges and teaching staff in judicial practice methods.
To improve transparency and the fair trial principle in criminal cases, the Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme supports the further training of Chinese prosecutors. Due to the central role of the public prosecution office in criminal investigations and prosecution, attention is paid to legal doctrine as well as the function of the public prosecution office in society.
The Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme conducts training courses for Chinese judges on judicial methodology in collaboration with the National Judges College of the People’s Republic of China.
On behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, the programme also organises an annual Sino-German seminar for judges together with the National Judges College of the People’s Republic of China and the German Judicial Academy.
The programme further organises training courses on criminal law and criminal procedure law for public prosecutors in cooperation with the Theory Research Institute of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.
The training courses on judicial methodology teach Chinese judges the subsumption and relational techniques of applying laws to facts. These techniques have a long tradition in German legal training and practice, and offer all legal practitioners the possibility to obtain uniform, predictable, and hence transparent solutions – including in cases relating to fields of law with which they are not familiar. The courses have become an integral element of the training for judges in China and have so far been attended by more than 9,000 Chinese judges. In addition, extensive course material has been developed jointly with the National Judges College of the People’s Republic of China. The material currently encompasses eight volumes in Chinese on a variety of legal fields and is used nationwide in training courses for judges.
At the annual Sino-German seminar for judges, Chinese and German participants meet for one week, alternating the venue between Germany and China. They engage in an exchange on a range of topics, such as professionalism and professional ethics of judges (2015), the public and the parties to court proceedings (2016) and evidence in criminal proceedings (2017). The discussions, which typically relate to specific cases, examine similarities as well as differences between the two legal systems. These are explored together by the participants.
The training courses for Chinese public prosecutors provide participants with an insight into the different aspects of German criminal law and criminal procedure law. This includes the underlying ethics, the role of the public prosecutor in society and the rules governing the organisation and management of the public prosecution office.