On June 24, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) approved the first set of amendments to its Rules of Procedure (Rules) [全国人民代表大会常务委员会议事规则] in over a decade. The Rules are a national law that governs how the NPCSC conducts business. They regulate the convening and conduct of sessions, the submission and deliberation of bills and reports, debate and voting procedures, and other technical procedural matters.
Viewed in that larger context, the amendments make up part of a conscious effort to subtly enhance the NPCSC’s capacity as a lawmaking and oversight body—one that follows the Party’s commands itself and, acting as the Party’s agent, also ensures other state organs do the same. The amended Rules therefore leave room for both deliberation and efficiency in the legislative process, and institutionalize procedural tools that enable more rigorous NPCSC oversight.
The Council of Chairpersons decided on Friday, July 29 to convene the 36th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) over a month later, from August 30 to September 2. With only five bills, the legislative agenda is comparatively light for a session held in August and in the last year of an NPCSC’s term. Perhaps the pace of legislation will pick up later in the year. Below we briefly preview the upcoming session.
On July 11, 2022, the NPC Standing Committee’s Legislative Affairs Commission (Commission) released two of its “legal inquiry responses” [法律询问答复] issued during the past year. As we have discussed in depth in this post, such responses clarify the applicable law in real-world scenarios at the request of central governmental bodies or provincial legislatures. They are not universally binding, but are considered highly persuasive—hence a form of “soft law”—because of the Commission’s pivotal role in lawmaking. The batch released on Monday is smaller than those released in previousyears, but most likely only represents a minuscule portion of all legal inquiry responses the Commission issued in 2021. The two selected responses concern, respectively, the enforcement of a new statutory prohibition on entertainment venues near kindergartens and the extent of a municipal legislature’s authority to promote the private sector of the local economy. We explain them in turn below.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 35th session on Friday, June 24, with the approval of four bills: amendments to the Anti-Monopoly Law [反垄断法] and the NPCSC Rules of Procedure [全国人民代表大会常务委员会议事规则], a revised Sports Law [体育法], and a new Black Soil Protection Law [黑土地保护法]. Below, we will first briefly discuss the Anti-Monopoly Law amendment before focusing on the new Sports Law and Black Soil Protection Law. We will leave the NPCSC’s updated procedural rules for a separate post.
The Council of Chairpersons decided on May 30 to convene the 35th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from June 21 to 24. Eight bills are on the tentative agenda, which we briefly preview below.
On Friday, May 6, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released its legislative plan for 2022 (Plan). The Plan was preliminarily approved in November 2021 and finalized by the Council of Chairpersons on April 11. It lists bills that are scheduled for review or research this year, and also sets forth priorities for all aspects of the NPCSC’s legislative work in 2022. As usual, we will focus on the legislative projects listed in the Plan below.