Sino-German legal cooperation programme
Title: Sino-German legal cooperation programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agencies: Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council; Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM); Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC); Supreme People’s Court (SPC); National Judges College (NJC); State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO); National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018
Since embarking on a policy of reform and opening up to the outside world in 1978, the People’s Republic of China has rapidly modernised its legal system. However, the legislative process and the application of law in China do not yet meet the needs of a social market economy or the requirements of a state governed by the rule of law to a sufficient degree. On the one hand, this is due to the fact that Chinese law has yet to evolve into a complete and consistent system that provides citizens with clear, definitive legal positions and a legal basis for claims. On the other hand, personnel in the judiciary and public administration often still lack the expertise and skills required to apply the law in a way which is not only systematic but also in compliance with the rule of law.
The institutional and social conditions required for the process of transforming China to a state under the rule of law are improved.
Through the programme’s advisory services on legislative provisions, Chinese legislators can benefit from international expertise. Continuing professional development for staff from the relevant administrative authorities, coupled with training courses on legal methodology for judges, support the implementation of laws that have already been passed. In terms of dissemination of legal principles, activities are geared to raising awareness of how the legal system can be used to resolve social conflicts. The programme is also actively involved in organising the rule of law dialogue conducted by the Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection and the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council. Furthermore, within the context of legal cooperation between Germany and China, the programme provides advice and information to the German Government.
This programme is a continuation of the programme of the same name – also commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) – which demonstrated its effectiveness. For instance, the recommendations drawn up in cooperation with the programme have been integrated into important legislation. Examples include laws governing property, liability, the civil service, labour contracts, social security, the budget, fiscal equalisation and money laundering. The advice aimed to ensure that the principles of the rule of law would be taken into account in the legislative process and that the rights of the individual would be safeguarded as far as possible.
Some 9,000 judges from across China are now applying the knowledge on legal methodology acquired through GIZ’s training courses in their day-to-day work. The programme’s training material and courses have become an integral part of the in-service training system at the country’s National Judges College.
Training courses specially tailored to various groups, which have attracted more than 3,000 participants, have helped to ensure that rule of law principles are increasingly applied within public administration.
The specialist literature developed and promoted by GIZ, such as the Handbook for German and Chinese Entrepreneurs on IPR Protection, serves to protect against breaches of the law and is used by the Chinese partners in their training events.