Next Steps for the Supervision Law & Procedural Possibility of a Constitutional Amendment in 2018

Now that the draft Supervision Law has finally become public, many are probably wondering what the next steps for the Law would be. When will the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) consider the draft Law again, if at all? Will the NPCSC release a revised version of the draft for public comments? And, given the argument that the Law shouldn’t be enacted until after the Constitution is amended to grant supervision commissions constitutional status, is it procedurally possible for the NPC to consider (and pass) a constitutional amendment at next year’s session? To predict such developments, we surveyed the legislative history of the laws passed by the NPC since 2000 (when the Legislation Law was enacted) and of all constitutional amendments to the 1982 P.R.C. Constitution.

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A Guide to Supervision System Reform (Redux)

The NPCSC decided last Saturday to extend “pilot” reforms of the state supervision (or anti-corruption) system nationwide. The decision is nearly identical in substance to the NPCSC’s December 2016 decision to first implement supervision system reforms in Beijing, Shanxi, and Zhejiang. The decision on Saturday again prescribes the composition, duties, and powers of the supervision commissions, and lists the legal provisions that will no longer be enforced across China, effectively repealing them. The contents of the Saturday decision are described below, with additional details.

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Explainer: National Anthem Law, New Criminal Law Amendment, and Their Implications for Hong Kong

Reports on Tuesday that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is considering an amendment to the Criminal Law to prescribe harsher punishment for disrespecting China’s national anthem seem to have taken many by surprise. (They wouldn’t have been if they had been reading our Blog!) Some question the necessity of such a move if the conduct was already criminalized by the National Anthem Law (it was not). Some wonder whether the amendment will be applied to Hong Kong and Macau (it won’t be). Here in this post, we answer a few of such questions on the National Anthem Law, the newest Criminal Law amendment, and their implications for Hong Kong.

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Likely Developments Surrounding the Draft National Anthem Law (with Translation)

Last month, the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) conducted an initial review of a draft National Anthem Law (Draft) (an English translation of which is attached to this post). Much of the media coverage so far has focused on provisions that ban the use of the national anthem at “inappropriate occasions” such as funerals and provide for up to 15 days of detention for “distorted or derogatory” rendition of the anthem, titled “March of the Volunteers.” With only 15 articles, the Draft contains language that is fairly easy to understand. We therefore won’t spend time scrutinizing its content here. Instead, we will take a look at likely developments surrounding the Draft, based on this report by Xinhua.

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Analysis: NPC Standing Committee’s 2017 Oversight Plan

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) released its 2017 oversight plan (Plan) in early May, and this post presents an overdue analysis of it. Here, we will not list each and every project in the Plan (unlike our previous analysis of the NPCSC’s 2017 legislative plan), but will instead offer a few observations about the Plan. A partial translation of the Plan, including more detailed descriptions of the projects, can be found at the end of this post.

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Scholarship Highlight: Law Enforcement Inspections—The NPCSC’s Weapon to Ensure Law-Based Administration?

The agenda of the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) session last month included an inconspicuous item: reviewing the State Council’s response to the report on the law enforcement inspection of the Environmental Protection Law; this report was previously discussed by the NPCSC last November.

What is an law enforcement inspection (执法检查)? Here, taking the opportunity of the first edition of our new, non-regular series, Scholarship Highlight, we present an overview of this supervisory measure of the NPCSC that is sometimes overlooked. We will also take a closer look at a recent example mentioned above: the law enforcement inspection of the Environmental Protection Law last year. Through this post, we wish to explore whether the NPCSC’s law enforcement inspections can act to further “law-based administration” (依法行政) by the State Council.

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NPC Standing Committee Schedules Major Legislations for 2017

The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) today finally released its much-anticipated legislative and supervisory plans for 2017. Here we will focus on the legislative plan, leaving the supervisory plan for another blog post. According to the 2017 legislative plan, a total of 23 legislative projects are tentatively scheduled (as the plan is subject to change) for the remaining four NPCSC sessions this year, with dozens more listed as preparatory projects. Among them, there is certainly no lack of blockbuster legislations, whether relating to China’s judicial reform, anti-corruption drive, environmental protection, or economic and social development in general.

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State Council Releases Legislative Plan for 2017

The State Council on Monday released its legislative plan for 2017 (2017 Plan). Because of this Blog’s focus, this post will only take a look at those projects in the 2017 Plan that will require the approval of the National People’s Congress (NPC) or its Standing Committee (NPCSC)—that is, proposed new laws or revisions of existing laws. For other projects (which concern administrative regulations), please refer to the linked plan itself.

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More Women, Fewer Cadres: A Preview of Next NPC’s Composition

Since the 7th National People’s Congress (NPC), each NPC’s last session has passed a decision prescribing various requirements for electing delegates to the next NPC (election decision). Following this practice, the 5th Session of the 12th NPC, which concluded yesterday, approved the Decision on the Quota and Election of Delegates to the 13th National People’s Congress (Decision), to a certain extent dictating the composition of the 13th NPC. This post reviews the contents of the Decision, starting with some background information.

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Following up on the Grant of Legislative Powers to China’s Cities: Pt. 2

Apologies to our readers for the delay in publishing Part 2.

Roughly two years ago, the National People’s Congress (NPC) approved an amendment to the Legislation Law (Amendment), granting the right to enact local regulations to 273 prefecture-level cities and autonomous prefectures (collectively, cities) across China. This post continues Part 1 with analysis of the local regulations enacted by (some of) the 273 cities since the passage of the Amendment. Like Part 1, this post is based on information (current through December 2016) provided by the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission (NPCSC LAC).

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