NPC Standing Committee Releases 2020 Legislative Plan

After having kept its 2019 legislative plan a secret, on Saturday, June 20, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released its legislative plan for 2020. This plan is divided into four parts. The first part, as usual, lists bills that are scheduled for review this year, while the other three lay down some all-encompassing guiding principles for the NPCSC’s legislative work in 2020. We will discuss only the first part below.

This year’s legislative plan schedules 41 legislative projects for review in 2020, the largest batch ever included in a publicly available annual legislative plan. This year’s plan differs from its previous iterations in two notable aspects. First, it starts with a lengthy paragraph—not seen in prior plans—that puts the bills in several groups and sets forth the larger policy goals behind each group. Second, it does not assign bills to be submitted for an initial in review this year to particular sessions of the NPCSC. Because many of such bills are still being drafted, this year’s plan does away with a rigid schedule presumably to avoid the appearance of constant delay, as oftentimes drafting cannot be completed on time.

The plan was finalized by the Council of Chairpersons on June 1, so it includes bills that had already been enacted or have since been enacted. They are:

Nine other bills have also been submitted for deliberation as planned and are still pending:

The remaining four bills that were reviewed in 2019 will return for further review in 2020 according to the following schedule:

The NPCSC is scheduled to consider another nineteen bills later this year:

All these laws can be found in the 13th NPCSC’s five-year legislative plan or its recent special public health legislative plan, with four exceptions. First, the Election Law will likely be amended to implement the the 19th Party Central Committee’s Fourth Plenum decision to “appropriately increase the number of grassroots-level delegates to people’s congress.” Second, the National Flag Law and the National Emblem Law are scheduled for changes likely as a result of the Party’s May 2018 plan to embody the “core socialist values” in legislation. Specifically, the two laws will be updated to “strengthen the oversight of the manufacture, sale, and recycling” of national flags and emblems and to foster “respect” for and the “correct use” of national flags and emblems. Third, the Hainan Free Trade Port Law is needed to provide legal support for the Party and the State Council’s plan to turn the Hainan Island into a free trade port. Finally, the Anti–Organized Crime Law will likely codify the measures taken during the ongoing campaign to unroot “underworld forces” [扫黑除恶], which started in early 2018.

Aside from the enumerated legislative projects listed above, the NPCSC’s 2020 legislative plan also includes three more general projects: to accelerate the formulation of legislation to safeguard national security in Hong Kong; to finish the elevation of tax regulations to statutes; and to implement the Party’s other policies and decisions.

The first part of the legislative plan concludes with a list of so-called “preparatory projects”: bills that will eventually be enacted at some point, but are of lower priority right now. They include (bill pages are not available for all preparatory projects):

With contribution by Haoran Zhang

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Comments & Pingbacks

  1. Many thanks, Changhao. Still no word about a formal public consultation? Should we infer that this is unlikely to come at this point, since a next session has been announced without a link to the NSL draft or even announcement of its consideration? Best. Jerry

    Jerome A. Cohen | Of Counsel – Corporate
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    1. I believe you are right: the possibility of a public consultation is close to zero. The best-case scenario is that we get a seven-day comments period next week, but again, this is highly unlikely in my view.

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