NPCSC Session Watch: Public Health Laws, Civil Code & Supervision Law Companion Statute

The Council of Chairpersons decided on Thursday (August 15) to convene the 12th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from August 22 to 26. Per the Council’s recommendation, the session will consider seven legislative bills. A quick rundown follows.

As usual, we start with returning bills.

First, a pair of public health-related bills return for a third round of review: draft Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law [基本医疗卫生与健康促进法] and draft revision to the Drug Administration Law [药品管理法]. Both bills underwent significant changes from their first to second drafts. The latter, in particular, was expanded from a partial amendment to the Law to a comprehensive revision. Normally, we would predict that both bills would pass at the upcoming session, but given their legislative history, we would not rule out a fourth and final review.

Second, draft amendments to the Land Management Law [土地管理法] and the Urban Real Estate Administration Law [城市房地产管理法] also return for a third—and most likely final—round of deliberations. We will summarize the amendments in our post-session recap.

Third, the draft Resource Tax Law [资源税法] returns for a second—and likely final—round of review, as is now the customary practice for tax laws. We will say more about this Law after it is adopted.

Fourth, two draft Civil Code parts return for further consideration: the Part on Personality Rights [人格权编] and the Part on Tort Liability [侵权责任编]. The former has proven controversial in Chinese academia. One prominent critic of the Part on Personality Rights, Professor Liang Huixing, a Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in a scathing lecture called for deleting the Part from the draft Code and incorporating its provisions on tort liability relating to personality rights into the Part on Tort Liability. Another authority on civil law, Professor Wang Liming, instead argues that some provisions in the latter Part should be moved into the Part on Personality Rights. Either way, scholars are dissatisfied with the relationship between the two Parts as currently written. The NPCSC’s upcoming review of them would thus likely focus on this issue.

The NPCSC will also deliberate a new bill at its session this month. The NPC Supervisory and Judicial Affairs Committee submitted for review a draft Law on Governmental Sanctions for Public Employees [公职人员政务处分法] (tentative translation). This bill was likely drafted by the State Supervision Commission (SSC), according to the 13th NPCSC’s legislative plan. But it was submitted by that NPC committee instead, likely because the SSC has yet to been given the authority to submit bills to the NPCSC. This bill would likely provide for the procedures whereby “governmental sanctions” [政务处分] are imposed on public employees by supervision commissions and for other related matters. The Supervision Law [监察法], adopted in March 2018, lists six types of governmental sanctions: warning, demerit, major demerit, demotion, removal, and expulsion (see art. 45, item 2).

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