History of the Institute

Tasks and Goals of the Sino-German Institute for Law

The Sino-German Institute for Law is a joint project of the Georg-August University of Göttingen and the University of Nanjing. It has set itself the goal of promoting the dialogue between German and Chinese legal cultures. This is done through cooperation in teaching, research and legal practice. Starting from a focus on civil and commercial law, the institute has also turned to public law since 2001. The institute contributes to mutual understanding as well as to economic, legal and political exchange between Germany and the People's Republic of China. As an academic institution, the institute is part of the "Rule of Law Dialogue" between the two countries.

Above all, the institute trains Chinese and German students who will in future act as multipliers of German or European legal thought in leading positions in the judiciary and administration, business or the legal profession and should help to build a lively bridge between the legal cultures. In the area of legal research, joint projects are carried out on German and Chinese law as well as comparative law and international business law.

History of the Institute

The Georg-August-Universität Göttingen was founded in 1737. As a reform university, it contributed to the further development and dissemination of the ideas of the Enlightenment. It has produced a number of Nobel Prize winners and famous scientists and is highly regarded both nationally and internationally. About 30,000 students are currently studying at the University of Göttingen.

Nanjing University emerged from the Sanjiang Pedagogical School, founded in 1902, and has existed in its current form since 1952. It is one of the leading universities and one of the few universities, which are selected by the Chinese government as priority universities. The Nanjing University is directly subordinate to the State Ministry of Education.
Nanjing University is also a preferred cooperation partner for Western universities. A large Sino-American center was founded together with Johns Hopkins University in the 1980s. Approximately 35,000 students are currently studying at Nanjing University.

The law faculty, which was re-established in 1981, stands for a high scientific level. There are currently around 2000 students, 24 professors and 26 lecturers at the law faculty. There is a wide range of Bachelor, Master and PhD courses. In addition to the Sino-German Institute for Law, the Faculty of Law includes the Institute for Asia-Pacific Law, the Criminological Institute and the Institute for Real Estate Law.

A partnership between the law faculties of the Universities of Göttingen and Nanjing has existed since 1984, initially comprising joint graduate training. On May 5, 1988, the universities signed an agreement to establish the "Sino-German Institute for Business Law" based in Nanjing. The institute started its activities in October 1989 in the fields of civil law and commercial law.
The long-term continuation and financing of the project has been decided since 1999/2000. With the intensification of relations between Germany and the People's Republic of China, the institute's activities and specialist field of activity are gradually being expanded. Since the establishment of constitutional administrative structures is increasingly becoming the core of the Sino-German dialogue, the administrative law department was opened on November 4, 2001. On the occasion of this expansion, the institute was renamed "Sino-German Institute for Law".

No other academic cooperation in the legal field has so far achieved a comparable degree of institutionalization, continuity and national acceptance. The project occupies a leading position in the Federal Republic of Germany, but also in Europe. In the PRC, the institute has achieved a high national reputation.
In September 2003, the then German President Johannes Rau explicitly praised the work of the institute in his speech at the University of Nanjing on "The Rule of Law – A Prerequisite for a Modern Society". Chancellor Angela Merkel underlined the importance of the Sino-German Institute for Law once again in 2007 during a visit to Nanjing.