The 7th Forum of Sino-German Constitutional Law – Constitutional Protection of Personal Rights and Privacy

Event: Society and Politics

The 7h Forum of Sino-German Constitutional Law gave experts from China and Germany the opportunity to deepen mutual understanding of their legal systems and regulations. The main topic of this year’s annual meeting was the constitutional protection of personal rights and privacy.

 

From September 8th to September 11th Prof. Dr. Reinhard Gaier, Justice at the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany (in his private capacity), Prof. Dr. Anne Sanders, Associate Professor for Civil and Comparative Law at Bonn University , and Dr. Kurt Graulich, Ret. Federal Judge for the Federal Administrative Court of Germany, visited Beijing. The annual Forum of Sino-German Constitutional Law is a jointly organized conference by the Law School of the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL), the German Chinese Law Institute at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL) and FES.

 

The main topic of the conference on September 10th was “Constitutional Protection of Personal Rights and Privacy” and it was further subdivided into three subtopics, namely “Protection of Personal Rights”, “Protection of Personal Data” and “General Constitutional Protection of Privacy”. Within each of these three panels a Chinese and a German expert gave a presentation, which was followed by a Q&A session. A final panel discussion summed up the previous panels and showed that mutual understanding and the exchange of ideas are indispensable for both sides against the backdrop of China on its way of becoming a state under the rule of law. All speakers stressed the important role of the Forum in its role as an open and dynamic platform of exchange. Furthermore, in the discussion it became clear that although China can learn from Germany in some aspects concerning protection of personal rights and privacy, the German system cannot be fully transplanted to China. However, Germany and China increasingly face common challenges with respect to the protection of personal rights and privacy. In particular, the issue of private and personal data protection against abuse by private actors – e.g. software companies or individuals – poses a major challenge for China and Germany alike.

 

Apart from the conference, the delegation visited the Supreme People’s Court on September 8th to talk about the work and function of the Court in the Chinese legal system in general and the Court’s role in safeguarding personal rights and privacy rights in particular.

 

On September 9th, the delegation met the German Ambassador Michael Clauß and Envoy Dr. Christophe Eick. During other meetings with Chinese and German law experts and lawyers the delegation gained practical knowledge concerning the protection of personal rights and privacy in China.

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