UPDATE (July 1, 2018): This post has been updated with information from this news release. We will not separately report on the NPCSC’s special session this month unless the resolution contains especially newsworthy content.
The NPCSC will convene a special session on July 9–10 to hear a report on inspecting the enforcement of the Atmospheric Pollution Prevention and Control Law (大气污染防治法). In conjunction with hearing the report, the NPCSC will conduct a special inquiry (专题询问) (which senior State Council officials are expected to attend to answer questions) and adopt a resolution related to one of the Communist Party’s three ongoing “tough battles” (攻坚战): preventing and controlling pollution.
The NPCSC’s next regular session will take place in late August.
All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations are either completed or underway at the links provided above. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).
To submit comments online, please refer to these instructions. The “Occupations” dropdown lists for draft revisions to the People’s Courts Organic Law and the People’s Procuratorates Organic Law include these items, from top to bottom: court staff (法院工作人员), procuratorate staff (检察院工作人员), staff of other state institutions (其他国家机关工作人员), lawyers (律师), and other personnel (其他人员).
Updated on June 21, 2021 by Changhao Wei & Taige Hu.
Originally published on June 25, 2018. Written by Shuhao Fan. Edited by Changhao Wei & Xiaoyuan Zhang.
The Legislative Affairs Commission (LAC) [法制工作委员会] under the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is such a unique institution that one can hardly find an equivalent in another legislature. Consisting primarily of unelected and unidentified members, the LAC works mostly behind closed doors, although recently it has become much more visible in the public eye. The LAC’s employees outnumber NPCSC members, and unlike the latter cohort, they all work full-time and include more legal experts than the staff of any other NPC body. Their decisions play significant roles throughout the legislative process, from the agenda-setting stage to deliberations—and even after laws are enacted. One Chinese scholar thus aptly dubs the LAC staff “invisible legislators” [隐形立法者]. Some worry that they may have usurped the powers of elected NPCSC members, thus becoming de facto legislators. Below, we provide an overview of the LAC—an essential yet peculiar institution under the NPCSC—and its roles in the legislative process.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its third bimonthly session on Friday (June 22) without adopting any legislative bills, including the draft E-Commerce Law that it had already reviewed three times (this session included). Several new provisions in the latest draft have sparked heated discussion during the session and could potentially further delay passage of the law. The session did adopt a decision granting law enforcement powers to the now-militarized China Coast Guard, the details of which will be discussed below.
Professor Rory Truex of Princeton University has kindly permitted me to publish the abstract of his recent article, Authoritarian Gridlock? Understanding Delay in the Chinese Legislative System, as the second part of this Blog’s Scholarship Highlight series, which surveys academic scholarship relating to the NPC. This article will appear in a future print issue of the Comparative Legal Studies and is now available online at this link (subscription required). [Disclosure: I provided research assistance to Rory on this article.]
UPDATE (June 19, 2018): On Tuesday (June 19), it was revealed that the State Council had submitted a draft amendment to the Individual Income Tax Law (个人所得税法) to the ongoing NPCSC session. This amendment came as a surprise because it was only a preparatory project in the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative plan. State media on Tuesday also released the Ministry of Finance’s explanation of the draft amendment. We expect to publish a summary of the draft after it is released for public comments.
In addition, the NPCSC will not vote on the E-Commerce Law at the end of the current session. We thus expect it to return for a fourth and final round of deliberation by the end of 2018, likely in August or October.
The Council of Chairmen decided on Monday (June 11) that the next NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) session will take place from June 19 to 22. The session will consider three draft laws and two potentially significant draft decisions. A rundown of the agenda follows.