Translation: NPCSC’s New Public Health Legislative Plan in Response to COVID-19

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.

The legislative plan is translated in full below. The word “修改” is translated as “modification” (abbreviated as “mod.”) because it is a broader term that encompasses both “amendment” [修正] and “revision” [修订]. The latter two are distinct ways to modify laws in China, with “revisions” being generally more extensive than “amendments.”


十三届全国人大常委会强化公共卫生法治保障立法修法工作计划
13th NPC Standing Committee Legislative Work Plan on Strengthening the Rule-of-Law Safeguards for Public Health

(2020年4月17日第十三届全国人民代表大会常务委员会第50次委员长会议通过)
(Adopted by the 50th Meeting of the Council of Chairpersons of the 13th NPC Standing Committee on April 17, 2020)

一、拟在2020-2021年制定修改的法律(17件)
I. Laws planned to be enacted or modified in 2020–2021 (17 projects)

法律名称
Title of Law
提请审议机关
Organ Submitting for Deliberation
负责提出审议意见的专门委员会
Special Committee in Charge of Submitting Deliberation Opinions
关于全面禁止非法野生动物交易、革除滥食野生动物陋习、切实保障人民群众生命健康安全的决定
Decision on Comprehensively Prohibiting Illegal Trade in Wild Animals, Uprooting the Unhealthy Habit of Indiscriminately Eating Wild Animals, and Earnestly Safeguarding the People’s Lives, Health & Safety
已通过
Passed
[Council of Chairpersons]
 
固体废物污染环境防治法(修改)
Law on the Prevention and Control of Environmental Pollution by Solid Waste (Mod.)
已通过
Passed
[State Council]
 
生物安全法
Biosecurity Law
已提请审议
Submitted for deliberation
[NPC Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee]
 
动物防疫法(修改)
Animal Epidemic Prevention Law (Mod.)
已提请审议
Submitted for deliberation
[NPC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee]
 
野生动物保护法(修改)
Wild Animals Protection Law (Mod.)
全国人大环资委
NPC Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee
 
传染病防治法(修改)
Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Mod.)
国务院
State Council
全国人大教科文卫委
NPC Education, Science, Culture, and Public Health Committee
突发事件应对法(修改)
Emergency Response Law (Mod.)
国务院
State Council
全国人大社会委
NPC Social Development Affairs Committee
国境卫生检疫法(修改)
Frontier Health and Quarantine Law (Mod.)
国务院
State Council
全国人大教科文卫委
NPC Education, Science, Culture, and Public Health Committee
进出境动植物检疫法(修改)
Exit-Entry Animals and Plants Quarantine Law (Mod.)
国务院
State Council
全国人大农业农村委
NPC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
畜牧法(修改)
Animal Husbandry Law (Mod.)
全国人大农业农村委
NPC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
 
农产品质量安全法(修改)
Agricultural Products Quality Safety Law (Mod.)
国务院
State Council
 全国人大农业农村委
NPC Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee
执业医师法(修改)
Licensed Physicians Law (Mod.)
全国人大教科文卫委
NPC Education, Science, Culture, and Public Health Committee
 
社会救助法
Social Assistance Law
国务院
State Council
全国人大社会委
NPC Social Development Affairs Committee
科学技术进步法(修改)
Scientific and Technological Progress Law (Mod.)
全国人大教科文卫委
NPC Education, Science, Culture, and Public Health Committee
 
民法典
Civil Code
已提请审议
Submitted for deliberation
[Council of Chairpersons]
 
治安管理处罚法(修改)
Public Security Administrative Penalties Law (Mod.)
国务院
State Council
全国人大监察司法委
NPC Supervisory and Judicial Affairs Committee
刑法修正案(十一)
Criminal Law Amendment (XI)
委员长会议
Council of Chairpersons
 
† Not listed in the 13th NPCSC’s five-year legislative plan.

二、拟综合统筹、适时制定修改的相关法律(13件)
II. Laws planned to be enacted or modified in a coordinated and timely manner (13 projects)

健全国家公共卫生应急管理体系,涉及公共卫生相关的法律,还有基本医疗卫生与健康促进法、中医药法、药品管理法、疫苗管理法、献血法、职业病防治法、精神卫生法、母婴保健法等;涉及动植物和动物源性食品安全有关的法律,还有渔业法、食品安全法等;涉及疫情防控有关问题的法律,还有红十字会法、慈善法、公益事业捐赠法等。对上述立法项目,结合疫情防控和健全公共卫生应急管理体系,开展深入评估,经研究论证,有必要又可行的,采取多种形式,有针对性进行修改,适时安排审议。

As relevant to improving China’s public health emergency management system, laws relating to public health also include the Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law, the Chinese Medicine Law, the Drug Administration Law, the Vaccine Administration Law, the Blood Donation Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Occupational Diseases, the Mental Health Law, and the Maternal and Infant Healthcare Law; laws relating to animals and plants and to animal-derived food safety also include the Fisheries Law, the Food Safety Law, and so forth; laws relating to the relevant issues on epidemic control also include the Red Cross Society Law, the Charity Law, the Public Welfare Donations Law, and so forth. For the abovementioned legislative projects, in-depth evaluations are to be done in combination with epidemic control and the improvement of the public health emergency response system; where, after study and debate, they are found necessary and feasible, they are to be modified in different ways and in a targeted manner and to be timely scheduled for deliberation.

三、其他需制定修改的相关法律
III. Other relevant laws that need to be enacted or modified

公共卫生领域深化改革、健全制度体系,可能需要制定新的法律和修改其他有关法律,提出新的立法项目,凡是实践需要、条件成熟的,适时安排审议。

To deepen reforms and improve the institutional systems in the public health field, new laws may need to enacted, other laws modified, and new legislative projects proposed; where the practice requires and the conditions are ripe, they are to be timely scheduled for deliberation.

完善和强化公共卫生法治保障体系,涉及领域广,按照将健康理念融入各项政策的精神,制定修改生态环境、社会管理、行政处罚、国家安全等方面有关法律时,也要总结疫情防控的实践经验,作出有针对性的制度安排,将公共卫生法治保障融入各项法律之中。

The improvement and reinforcement of the rule-of-law safeguard systems for public health implicates a broad range of fields; in accordance with the spirit of integrating health concepts into all policies, when enacting and modifying the relevant laws on such subjects as ecology and environment, social management, administrative penalties, and national security, the practice and experience of preventing and controlling the epidemic also need to be summed up, and targeted institutional arrangements are to be made, so that the rule-of-law safeguards for public health are integrated into each and every law.


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