UPDATE (July 5, 2020): The NPCSC has unanimously approved the Hong Kong National Security Law and added it to Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law. The Law took effect in Hong Kong at 11 p.m. on June 30. Our partial summary of it is here.
UPDATE (June 28, 2020): The draft Hong Kong National Security Law has been added to the agenda of the ongoing NPCSC session. We expect the NPCSC to approve the bill and add it to Annex III to the Hong Kong Basic Law by Tuesday.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) concluded its 19th session on Saturday, June 20. It adopted three bills and approved China’s accession to the Arms Trade Treaty. On that same day, the Council of Chairpersons decided to convene the NPCSC again later this month, from June 28 to 30, merely one week after the 19th session. According to the readout of the Council’s meeting, it has placed six bills on the 20th session’s tentative agenda—not including the draft Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [香港特别行政区维护国家安全法] (Hong Kong National Security Law). But once again the readout concludes the list of bills with the character “等” (or “et cetera”), so the Hong Kong National Security Law could be included in the final agenda at the last minute—again. The NPCSC ordinarily meets once every two months; it has not held two sessions in such close proximity in over at least two decades. It seems to us, then, that the 20th session is scheduled to expedite—and pass—the Hong Kong National Security Law, while ensuring that the NPCSC complies with the Legislation Law’s requirement that new laws be adopted after at least two reviews.
Below, we will briefly review the bills adopted on Saturday and preview the upcoming 20th session, before concluding with the possible next steps for the Hong Kong National Security Law.
Continue reading “NPCSC Concludes First June Session Before Immediately Scheduling Another, Likely to Adopt Hong Kong National Security Law (Updated)”
UPDATE (June 19, 2020): The NPCSC most certainly will not approve the Hong Kong National Security Law (HKNSL) on Saturday, the last day of its ongoing session, according to the latest information. The Council of Chairpersons met on Friday and approved the voting versions of several bills, which did not include the HKNSL. Similarly, multiple sources told the South China Morning Post that the Law “was unlikely to be passed during this meeting or come into effect on Saturday even if it was endorsed on the same day.”
UPDATE (June 18, 2020): Xinhua reports on Thursday that a draft Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region [香港特别行政区维护国家安全法] has been submitted to the NPCSC for review. Follow us on Twitter or subscribe to our blog posts for future updates.
Our assessment as of June 18 is that the NPCSC will not pass the Hong Kong National Security Law at this session. Recall that for the Law to be enforced in Hong Kong, it is not enough that the NPCSC adopts it—it must also be listed in Annex III of the Hong Kong Basic Law. Were both actions—NPCSC approval and Annex III listing—to occur during a single session, by convention, the NPCSC would have to pass the Law first, and wait until the next day at least to list the Law in Annex III. This sequence of events theoretically could happen during this three-day session, but only if the NPCSC passes the Law on Friday (so that the listing can occur on Saturday). It does not appear that a plenary meeting (where voting occurs) is scheduled for Friday, however. The Law is thus unlikely to pass on Saturday, because the NPCSC would then have to wait till the next session (whether in July or August) to add it to Annex III—which would unnecessarily delay the process. The more likely scenario is that the NPCSC will consider the draft Law again in the near future, before approving it and listing it in Annex III during that meeting. This assessment is subject to change, however, as more information (such as the ongoing session’s daily schedule) becomes available. (Of course, that the Legislation Law essentially bars the NPCSC from adopting a new law after only a single review would be another reason why this Law won’t pass on Saturday, assuming the NPCSC follows the Legislation Law.)
The Council of Chairpersons decided on Tuesday, June 9 to convene the 19th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from June 18 to 20. According to the official readout of the Council’s meeting, the upcoming session will consider five legislative bills. The readout does not mention the closely watched Hong Kong national security law that was authorized by the NPC’s May 28 decision, but this bill may still appear on the finalized agenda next week. A quick rundown follows.
Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Public Employee Sanctions, Veterans Support, Rural Revitalization & (Temporary?) Absence of Hong Kong National Security Law (Updated)”
UPDATE (Nov. 5, 2019): This post has been updated with a link to our guide to navigating the NPCSC’s new online public comments system.
UPDATE (Nov. 4, 2019): This post has been updated with links to unofficial English translations of the draft Community Corrections Law and of the draft revisions to the Minors Protection Law and the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Law.
The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is soliciting public comments on the following six bills through November 29, 2019:
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).
The NPCSC also reviewed a draft Biosecurity Law [生物安全法] at its latest session, but did not also release this bill for public comments. It is unclear whether and when it will do so.
To submit comments online, please refer to this guide. The “Occupations” dropdown menus for the draft revisions to the Minors Protection Law and the Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Law include these options: “minors” [未成年人]; “minors’ parents or other guardians” [未成年人的父母或者其他监护人]; “professional social workers” [专业社工]; “teachers” [教师]; “lawyers” [律师]; “employees of villagers’ committees or urban residents’ committees, or community workers” [村委会、居委会或者社区工作人员]; “employees of governmental organs” [政府机关工作人员]; “judges” [法官]; “procurators” [检察官]; and “employees of mass organizations” [群团组织工作人员]. The dropdown menus inexplicably do not include an “other” option.
Comments can also be mailed to the NPCSC Legislative Affairs Commission [全国人大常委会法制工作委员会] at the following address:
Chinese: 北京市西城区前门西大街1号 邮编: 100805
English: No. 1 West Qianmen Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing 100805
Please clearly write “[BILL NAME IN CHINESE]征求意见” on the envelope.
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The Council of Chairpersons decided on Monday (October 14) to convene the 14th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from October 21 to 26. The NPCSC will consider eight legislative bills plus three draft decisions on important legal issues during the upcoming six-day session. A quick rundown follows.
Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Encryption, Civil Code, Biosecurity, Child Protection & State Supervision Commission Rulemaking”