On May 1, a decision of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) authorizing the suspension of certain statutory provisions as part of a pilot program in the Hainan Free Trade Zone takes effect.
The 13th NPCSC is expected to convene for its 18th session by mid-May to discuss a draft of its annual work report and other documents to prepare for the NPC’s 2020 annual session. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet soon after the Labor Day holiday (May 1–5) to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.
The 13th NPC will convene for its third annual session on Friday, May 22. The session’s agenda has not yet been finalized, but we expect it to include the following:
- Hear and deliberate the Government Work Report;
- Hear and deliberate work reports by the NPCSC, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate;
- Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 National Economic and Social Development Plan and on the draft 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
- Approve the 2020 National Economic and Social Development Plan;
- Review and approve a report on the execution of the 2019 Central and Local Budgets and on the draft 2020 Central and Local Budgets;
- Approve the 2020 Central Budget; and
- Deliberate the draft Civil Code [民法典].
We also expect the session to retroactively approve the resignation of Feng Zhonghua [冯忠华] as an NPCSC member in June 2019. He has since been appointed a Vice Governor of Hainan. Under Chinese law, an NPCSC member must resign if he is to serve in an administrative organ.
On May 21, the NPC session will convene for a preparatory meeting to select members of the Presidium (which will preside over the session) and to finalize the session’s agenda. The Presidium will then immediately meet to decide on (among other matters) the session’s daily schedule. Shortly thereafter the session is expected to hold its first press conference.
Though the NPC’s annual session ordinarily lasts around ten days, several outlets have reported that this year’s would be shortened to only seven days. On the last day of the session, we expect the NPC to approve the Civil Code.
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The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following five bills through June 13, 2020:
All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be provided if and when available. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).
Continue reading “NPCSC Seeks Public Comments on Draft Biosecurity Law, Copyright Law Amendment, Armed Police Law Revision & Two Other Bills”
Editor’s Note (Oct. 2, 2020): This page is not being updated. For the latest status of each project in this legislative plan, please see the Legislation page or the projects’ individual bill pages.
On Wednesday, April 29, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released a special legislative plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that is devoted to improving China’s public health legislation. According to an NPCSC spokesperson, the pandemic has exposed the “gaps” in and the “weaknesses” of the current legal scheme. Because to fix those problems many laws need to be enacted or updated, the authorities thought it appropriate to formulate a legislative plan to proceed in a coordinated manner. The spokesperson also said that the legislature would approach different laws in different ways: some would need complete overhauls, while some (like newer ones) would need only “targeted” changes. Finally, as expected, the NPCSC will focus on public health legislation in the near future, and other legislative projects would be deprioritized as a result.
Continue reading “Translation: NPCSC’s New Public Health Legislative Plan in Response to COVID-19”
UPDATE (Apr. 28, 2020): The NPCSC decided on April 29 that the NPC’s 2020 session will start on May 22. We do not know how long the session will be at this point. They ordinarily last around ten days, but several outlets reported that this year’s would be shortened to only a week. The official schedule is expected to be released the day before the session starts, on May 21.
The NPCSC also approved the revision to the Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste, effective September 1, 2020, and the decision to authorize the suspension of certain statutory provisions in the Hainan Free Trade Zone, to expire on December 31, 2024.
UPDATE (Apr. 26, 2020): According to the official readout of the first plenary meeting of the NPCSC’s session this week, the Council of Chairpersons has indeed submitted a draft decision on the new dates for NPC’s 2020 session. We expect the NPCSC to adopt the draft decision and announce the new dates this Wednesday. Bloomberg reported last week that the NPC might meet from May 23 to 30.
The Council of Chairpersons decided on Friday, April 17 to convene the 17th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from April 26 to 29. Contrary to what we have expected, this upcoming session seems to be a regular bi-monthly session, where the NPCSC will review seven legislative bills. Below, we will briefly review the session’s agenda before turning to the question on everyone’s mind (well, ours at least): when will the NPC meet this year?
Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: COVID-19 Responses, Copyright, Armed Police Reform & Silence on 2020 NPC (Updated)”
On Thursday, April 9, the Hong Kong Court of Appeal (Court or COA) affirmed in part and reversed in part a lower court ruling from last November that partially invalidated the city’s “mask ban”: a prohibition on wearing facial covering that prevents identification in certain public gatherings. In sum, the Court upheld the colonial-era emergency law serving as the legal basis for the ban and allowed the government to enforce the ban in unauthorized public gatherings. Below we will focus on a section of the COA’s opinion that held that Hong Kong courts may strike down laws enacted before Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to China that are later found to violate the Hong Kong Basic Law, notwithstanding a prior determination by the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) to the contrary.
Continue reading “Hong Kong Appeals Court Affirmed Judiciary’s Power to Invalidate Unconstitutional Pre-Handover Laws Despite Contrary NPCSC Decision”