Supporting Sino-German dialogue on the rule of law
Title: Sino-German Legal Cooperation Programme
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Justice (MOJ) of the People’s Republic of China
Overall term: 2022 to 2025
The rapid economic and social change seen in China in recent decades has led to an enormous increase in prosperity, but also to new social tensions and environmental pressures. To develop a fair and environmentally sound economic model, Chinese leaders want to strengthen the structures that underpin the rule of law. Although the Chinese concept of the rule of law differs significantly from European models, China looks to Germany, in particular, when it comes to legal reforms.
This is not just about potential solutions for legislation. In China there are also calls for a German model of coherent, transparent and fair application of the law. Germany, too, has an interest in sharing with China its experience relating to the law, and thus jointly strengthen social structures, environmentally sound structures and those that underpin the rule of law. German companies also benefit when there is greater legal certainty and legal systems are compatible. At the same time, a good understanding of developments around the law in China allow German actors to react better to situations and identify potential for cooperation.
This requires the experts and managers concerned to be familiar with the legal situation in the other country and how the law is applied. The programme creates the necessary framework.
Legal cooperation and mutual understanding of the law between Germany and China has improved.
The legal cooperation programme operates on three levels:
First, dialogue platforms allow the judiciary, administration, parliament and civil society to engage with each other on issues of mutual interest. The prominent legal symposium involving the German and Chinese Ministries of Justice, which provides expert support for the legal programme, is laying important groundwork.
Second, the legal cooperation programme works with pro-reform figures in Chinese legislation and thus contributes principles of the German legal system to important legislative proposals, for example to strengthen legal certainty in the new civil code.
Third, since 2000 the legal programme has trained around 11,000 judges in the methodology of applying the law.
Last updated: May 2022