NPC Calendar: July 2019

The Vehicle Acquisition Tax Law [车辆购置税法] takes effect on July 1.

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to solicit public comments on the following draft laws this week:

The NPCSC will convene for its next regularly scheduled session in late August.

July 1 marks the 40th anniversary of the enactment of the Criminal Law [刑法] and the Criminal Procedure Law [刑事诉讼法] (among five other important laws). They were the first batch of laws enacted by the full NPC in the aftermath of the decade-long Cultural Revolution.


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NPCSC Grants Amnesty to Convicts to Mark 70th P.R.C. Founding Anniversary

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its bimonthly session on Saturday (June 29) with the adoption of the Vaccine Administration Law [疫苗管理法] and a decision granting special amnesty to nine classes of convicts who are currently serving their sentences (custodial or otherwise). Below we will focus on the special amnesty decision.

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NPCSC Session Watch: Marriage, Vaccine, Community Corrections, Encryption & Solid Waste (UPDATED)

UPDATE (June 27, 2019): The agenda of this month’s NPCSC session shows that the legislature is reviewing a draft decision that would grant special amnesty [特赦] to some prisoners ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic this October. State media has not reported on the details of the amnesty; we thus do not know which prisoners would be eligible or how many prisoners are estimated to be released. We do expect the decision to pass this Saturday and be released on the same day.


The Council of Chairpersons decided on Monday (June 17) to convene the 11th session of the 13th NPC Standing (NPCSC) from June 25 to 29. Per the Council’s recommendation, the session will consider eight legislative bills. A quick rundown follows.

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Recording & Review Pt. 5: “Freedom and Privacy of Correspondence”

Recording & Review is a series that discusses cases where the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) reviews the legality and/or constitutionality of various types of normative documents, including local regulations and judicial interpretations. Past installments can be found here.


An institute affiliated with China’s top court reported in 2017 that using cellphones while driving was one of the main causes of traffic accidents in China. Between 2012 and mid-2017, says the report, distracted driving caused about 11% of all traffic accidents that led to civil lawsuits, even though such behavior had been outlawed since at least 2004. Enforcement is lacking, however, because distracted driving is relatively hard to detect (even with China’s ubiquitous surveillance cameras).

To combat this problem, several provinces decided to lend the police a hand. They passed what we call “phone-search provisions”: regulations that allow the police to inspect the communication records of motorists involved in accidents. Those records could provide the definitive proof of whether a driver was using cellphone just before an accident, thereby helping the police determine the liability of each party and punish the cellphone use itself.

Granting the police such authority seems like a sensible enough policy. But is it legal?

Continue reading “Recording & Review Pt. 5: “Freedom and Privacy of Correspondence””