The dialogue platforms and exchange formats particularly serve the aim of the Sino-German Programme for Legal Cooperation: improving the cooperation and mutual understanding of law between both states. They enable an ongoing and immediate exchange of opinions and experience between members of the legal profession in both countries, particularly concerning issues on which there are diverging interpretations of the law. At the same time, the activities promote the establishment and constant expansion of international professional networks.
Every year, the Chinese Ministry of Justice and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, assisted by the Federal Ministry for International Cooperation and Development, organize a Sino-German Legal Symposium. The Sino-German Programme for Legal Cooperation provides specialist support to the federal departments in the organization of the symposium.
The Sino-German Programme for Legal Cooperation also provides specialist and organizational support in the preparation and carrying out of the annual Sino-German legal seminar hosted by the National Judges College of the People’s Republic of China, the Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer Protection and by the German Judges College.
The Robert Bosch Foundation finances the Sino-German Judges’ Exchange, which involves an exchange of judges and lawyers between both countries. The Sino-German Programme for Legal Cooperation carries out the exchange of judges on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. In the case of the exchange of judges, it works with the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China and the courts and judicial administrations of the participating German states. For the exchange of lawyers, it works with the All China Lawyers Association and the Federal German Bar Association.
In the context of the Sino-German Rule of Law Dialogue, the legal symposia offer a high-level dialogue platform at the ministerial level. The project supports them with input from specialists.
The Sino-German judges’ seminars take place annually, alternating between Germany and China. They are attended by Chinese and German judges who meet together for a week and exchange their knowledge on topics of practical relevance such as the Public and Parties to Proceedings in Legal Actions (2016), Evidence in Criminal Proceedings (2017), and Legal Regulatory Systems for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (2018). In the specialist discussions, which are largely related to specific cases, the common features and also the differences between the two legal orders are addressed and jointly considered and discussed by the participants.
The judges’ exchange comprises one-week study tours to Germany and China for 10-person judges’ delegations within established partnerships at the state or province level. The lawyers’ exchange takes the form of a one-week specialist meeting of six Chinese and six German lawyers, alternating each year between China and Germany. By means of specialist discussions on selected legal topics and visits to institutions for the administration of justice in the respective host country, the participants become familiar with the everyday work of their colleagues in the respective other country. The judges’ exchange has been taking place since 2011 and the lawyers’ exchange since 2015, with both featuring a range of events each year.