NPCSC Session Watch: Public Health Laws, Civil Code & Supervision Law Companion Statute

The Council of Chairpersons decided on Thursday (August 15) to convene the 12th session of the 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) from August 22 to 26. Per the Council’s recommendation, the session will consider seven legislative bills. A quick rundown follows.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Public Health Laws, Civil Code & Supervision Law Companion Statute”

NPC Calendar: December 2018 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Dec. 5, 2018): The State Council’s executive meeting, its top decision-making body, approved a draft amendment to the Patent Law [专利法] on Wednesday (December 5). The draft amendment may have replaced a draft revision to the Law that was released for public comments in 2015 for it seems to make similar changes as the draft revision (based on the brief press release of the State Council’s meeting). The NPCSC will likely review the draft amendment at its upcoming session.

The 13th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) is expected to convene for its seventh session late this month. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet in mid-December to decide on the dates and agenda of the session.

According to the NPCSC’s 2018 legislative plan, the following bills have been tentatively scheduled for the upcoming session:

The draft Farmland Occupancy Tax Law [耕地占用税法] and Vehicle Acquisition Tax Law [车辆购置税法] will likely return for their second (and likely final) round of deliberations.

The State Council may also submit for review a draft Vaccine Administration Law [疫苗管理法] (on which it solicited public comments for two weeks in November).

The pilot reform to combine the maternity insurance fund and the basic medical insurance fund will expire on December 31. We expect the State Council to either request an extension of the pilot or submit an amendment to the Social Insurance Law [社会保险法].

The pilot reform that allows the rights to use cultivated land and house sites [宅基地] to be mortgaged will also expire on December 31. The State Council may submit amendments to the Property Law [物权法] and the Guaranty Law [担保法] to codify the reform. Alternatively, it may request yet another extension—the pilot was already extended once for one year in late 2017—until the Civil Code (which will replace those two laws) is enacted.

Another land reform pilot—which allows the transfer of the right to use collectively owned land for construction [集体建设用地使用权]; adjusts the approval authority over house sites; and revises the standards for compensating the expropriation of collectively owned land—will expire, again, on December 31. The State Council will likely submit an amendment to the Land Management Law [土地管理法] and possibly also an amendment to the Urban Real Estate Administration Law [城市房地产管理法] (certain provisions of these two laws are being suspended during the pilot).

Lastly, a pilot reform of the civil service system will expire on January 1, 2019. As the NPCSC is already reviewing a draft revision to the Civil Servants Law [公务员法] that codifies the reform, we expect it to extend the pilot until the revision is adopted.

The NPCSC is also expected to adopt a decision to convene the 2019 NPC session (the 2nd Session of the 13th NPC) at its upcoming meeting.

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NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Revision to Civil Servants Law and Three Other Bills

The NPC Standing Committee is now soliciting public comments on the following draft laws until December 1, 2018:

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be linked to if and when available. The accompanying explanations of these drafts can be read here (PDF).

Most notably, the draft revision to the Civil Servants Law seeks to strengthen the Communist Party’s control (or rather codify the Party’s already strengthened control) over China’s civil servants—a broad category that encompasses both those working in governmental bodies and also those working for political parties and other quasi-governmental entities (e.g., the CPPCC). Continue reading “NPCSC Solicits Public Comments on Draft Revision to Civil Servants Law and Three Other Bills”

NPCSC Session Watch: Anti-Corruption, Judicial Reform, Stock Buybacks, Drug Approval & Patent Litigation (UPDATED)

The NPC Observer turns two today! We thank our readers, subscribers, and donors for your support over the past two unforgettable years. We strive to continue delivering high-quality content in the (hopefully) many more years to come.

UPDATE (Oct. 22, 2018): According to the finalized agenda released on Monday, the State Council submitted for consideration a draft amendment to the Drug Administration Law [药品管理法] to codify the marketing authorization holder system (discussed below), among other changes. It appears that there will be an opportunity for public comments before this amendment passes.

In addition, the draft decision relating to patent litigation procedure (see below) is poised to authorize the Intellectual Property Division of the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) to hear (second-instance) appeals in all civil or administrative patent cases (other than those involving design patents) and certain other types of intellectual property cases involving technical expertise—thus bypassing provincial high courts. In other words, it looks like that the SPC’s IP Division will essentially act as China’s Federal Circuit. But whether the Division’s decisions are further reviewable is not clear at this point. As we said below, we expect the decision to pass this Friday, at which point we will have more information.

The Council of Chairmen decided on Monday (October 15) that the NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will hold a five-day session next week, from October 22 to 26. Absent any bill added at the last minute, the session is scheduled to review 12 legislative bills. Below is our usual rundown.

Continue reading “NPCSC Session Watch: Anti-Corruption, Judicial Reform, Stock Buybacks, Drug Approval & Patent Litigation (UPDATED)”

NPC Standing Committee Releases 2018 Legislative Plan

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) on Friday released its annual legislative plan for 2018. As usual, the plan is divided into two sections—the first listing specific legislative projects slated for discussion at the NPCSC’s remaining five sessions in 2018, and second setting forth general guiding principles for its legislative work this year. We will discuss only the first part in this post.

Continue reading “NPC Standing Committee Releases 2018 Legislative Plan”

NPCSC Releases Seven Draft Laws for Public Comments: December 29, 2017 (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Jan. 19, 2018): This post has been updated with links to an English translation of the draft Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law.

UPDATE (Jan. 4, 2018): This post has been updated with links to English translations of the draft revisions to the Procurators Law and Judges Law, and to the draft People’s Assessors Law.

The NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) on December 29 released the following draft laws for public comments until January 27, 2018:

  1. Procurators Law (Draft Revision) 检察官法修订草案 (ENGLISH)
  2. Judges Law (Draft Revision) 法官法修订草案 (ENGLISH)
  3. People’s Assessors Law (Draft) 人民陪审员法草案 (ENGLISH)
  4. International Criminal Justice Assistance Law (Draft) 国际刑事司法协助法草案
  5. Basic Healthcare and Health Promotion Law (Draft) 基本医疗卫生与健康促进法草案
  6. Heroes and Martyrs Protection Law (Draft) 英雄烈士保护法草案 (ENGLISH)
  7. Soil Pollution Prevention and Control Law (Draft for 2nd Deliberation) 土壤污染防治法草案二次审议稿

All linked files are PDF documents in Chinese. English translations will be posted here when they become available. The NPCSC has also released explanations of these draft laws, which can be viewed at this link.

To submit comments online, please refer to these instructions. The “Occupations” dropdown list for the draft revisions to the Judges Law and the Procurators Law includes a new top item: “Judges, procurators, lawyers, or other legal practitioners” (法官检察官律师等法律从业人员).

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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NPCSC to End 2017 with Blockbuster December Session (UPDATED)

UPDATE (Dec. 23, 2017): The NPCSC has released the finalized agenda and daily schedule of the ongoing session. This agenda, unlike the agendas of past December sessions since the early 1990s, does not include a draft decision to convene the NPC session of the following year (which would be the 1st Session of the 13th NPC). This is highly unusual. But the significance (if any) of the absence of that decision is not clear at this point. Elsewhere, in a report on the draft Supervision Law (as reported by state media), the NPC Law Committee seemed to be deliberately avoiding referring explicitly to the 1st Session of the 13th NPC: It recommended that the NPCSC submit the draft Supervision Law to “a session of the NPC” (全国人民代表大会会议) for deliberation, short of identifying the specific NPC session (unlike what it had done before). Through this update we merely wish to point out these irregularities. It is still premature to speculate whether the 2018 NPC session will convene as usual on March 5 because the Council of Chairmen could always add a convening decision to the agenda (though it doesn’t explain why it hasn’t done so already). In any event, we will find out on December 27 when the ongoing NPCSC session closes.

As predicted, the Council of Chairmen met on Thursday (December 14) to set the dates and propose an agenda for the second last session of the 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC). According Xinhua’s report of the Council’s meeting, an astonishing 12 legislative bills (among others) were submitted to the upcoming six-day NPCSC session (December 22–27) for deliberation, the most ever since the start of the 12th NPC. Most of these bills are worth paying close attention to because of their subject matters, as we will discuss below.

Continue reading “NPCSC to End 2017 with Blockbuster December Session (UPDATED)”

NPC Calendar: December 2017

Starting in December 2017, we will publish the NPC Calendar as monthly blog posts instead of a widget in the Blog’s sidebar and a series of tweets—however short the Calendar for a particular month may be (in other words, we are going to do this SCOTUSblog-style). This change will make it easier for us to (if necessary) provide a lot more details about NPC-related events each month. The NPC Calendar widget in the sidebar will remain, but will contain a lot less information than the blog post versions so as to provide our readers with a quick overview of NPC-related information each month.

The 12th NPC Standing Committee (NPCSC) will convene for its 31st—and the second last—session in late December. The Council of Chairmen is expected to meet next week to decide on the date and agenda of the 31st Session.

Continue reading “NPC Calendar: December 2017”

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.

Continue reading “NPC Standing Committee Schedules Major Legislations for 2017”