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Legislation Law (2015 Revised Edition)

(Adopted by the 3rd Session of the Ninth National People's Congress on March 15, 2000; Amended by the 3rd Session of the Twelfth National People's Congress's "National People's Congress Decision on Amending the 'Legislation Law of the People's Republic of China'"

billTable of Contents

Chapter I: General Provisions

Chapter II: [National] Law

Section 1: Scope of Legislative Authority

Section 2: Legislative Procedure of the National People’s Congress

Section 3: Legislative Procedure of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Section 4: Legislative Interpretation

Section 5: Other Provisions

Chapter III: Administrative Regulations

Chapter IV: Local Regulations, Autonomous Regulations and Special Regulations, and Rules

Section 1: Local Regulations, Autonomous Regulations and Special Regulations

Section 2: [Local and Administrative] Rules

Chapter V: Application and Review and Filing

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

Legislation Law of the People's Republic of China

Chapter I: General Provisions

Article 1: This Law is formulated, based on the Constitution, so as to regulate legislative activity, to complete state legislative systems, increase the quality of legislation, to improve the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, to give play to the leading and driving roles of legislation, to safeguard and develop socialist democracy, to comprehensively advance governance in accordance with law, and to construct a socialist country under the rule of law.

Article 2: This Law applies to the formulation, revision, or repeal of laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations and special regulations.

The formulation, revision, and repeal of State Council department rules and local government rules are to be carried out in accordance with the relevant provisions of this Law.

Article 3: Legislation shall adhere to the basic principles of the Constitution, and shall be centered around economic development, and shall adhere to the socialist road, adhere to the democratic dictatorship by the people, adhere to the leadership by the Chinese Communist Party, and adhere to the theory of Marxism, Leninism and Mao Zedong thoughts and Deng Xiaoping theory, and adhere to the reform and opening to the outside world.

Article 4: Legislation shall be in accordance with the legally-prescribed scope of authority and procedures, have the overall national interest as its starting place, and preserve the uniformity and dignity of the socialist legal system.

Article 5: Legislation shall reflect the will of the people, promote socialist democracy, persist in legislative transparency, and ensure that people are able to participate in the legislative activities through various channels.

Article 6: Legislation shall have actual conditions as its starting point, and be appropriate to the needs of economic and social development and of comprehensively deepening reforms; to scientifically and reasonable manner, prescribe the rights and obligations of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations, and the powers and duties of state organs.

Legal norms should be clear, specific, targeted and enforceable.

Chapter II: [National] Law

Section 1: Scope of Legislative Authority

Article 7: The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee exercise the national legislative power.

The National People’s Congress is to formulate and revise criminal, civil, and state organic laws and other basic laws.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is to formulate and revise laws other than those to be formulated by the National People’s Congress; and while the National People’s Congress is not in session, partially revises and supplements laws formulated by the National People’s Congress, but must not contravene the basic principles of those laws.

Article 8: Only (national) law may be formulated on the following matters:

(1) state sovereignty;

(2) the establishment, organization and authority of various people’s congresses, people’s governments, people’s courts and people’s procuratorates;

(3) the system of ethnic region autonomy, the system of special administrative regions, and the system of autonomy of the public at the basic level;

(4) crimes and criminal punishment;

(5) compulsory measures and punishments that deprive citizens' political rights or restrict their physical liberty;

(6) basic systems for taxation such as the establishment of taxes, determination of tax rates, and the collection and management of taxes;

(7) expropriation and requisition of non-state owned assets;

(8) basic civil systems;

(9) basic economic systems, and basic fiscal, customs, financial, and foreign trade systems;

(10) systems for litigation and arbitration;

(11) other matters on which laws must be formulated by the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee.

Article 9: Where no law has been formulated on a matter provided for in Article 8 of this Law, the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee have the power to make a decision authorizing the State Council to first formulate administrative regulations on some of the matters concerned, as necessary; except where the matter relates to crime and criminal punishment, compulsory measures and punishments depriving citizens' of their political rights or restricting their personal freedom, the judicial system, or other such matters.

Article 10: Authorization decisions shall specify the purpose, subject matter, scope, and duration of the authorization; as well as the principles to be followed by the authorized organs in carrying out the authorization decision.

The duration of the authorization must not exceed five years, except as otherwise provided by authorization decisions.

Six months before the duration of the authorization is complete, the authorized organs shall report to the authorizing organs on the status of carrying out the authorization decision, and submit an opinion on whether or not it is necessary to formulate relevant law; where it is necessary to continue the authorization, an opinion may be submitted to that effect, and the National People's Congress and its Standing Committee will make a decision.

Article 11: When, following testing in practice, the conditions are ripe for formulating a law on the subject of a legislation authorization, the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee is to promptly formulate a law. After the law is formulated , the authorization for that legislative matter is concluded.

Article 12: Authorized organs shall strictly follow the authorization decisions in exercising delegated powers.

Authorized organs must not transfer delegated powers to other organs.

Article 13: The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee may, as needed for reform and development, decide to authorize the temporary adjustment or suspension of the application of some statutory provisions on specific matters in fields such as administrative management, for a set period of time in some areas.

Section 2: Legislative Procedure of the National People’s Congress

Article 14: The Presidium of the National People’s Congress may introduce bills to the National People’s Congress for deliberation by a session of the National People’s Congress.

The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, State Council, Central Military Committee, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and each special committee of the National People’s Congress may introduce bills to the National People’s Congress, which are be put on the session agenda by a decision of the Presidium.

Article 15: A delegation, or at least 30 delegates acting jointly, may submit legislative bills to the National People’s Congress; the Presidium is to decide whether to place them on the agenda of a session, or may first refer them to the relevant special committees for deliberation and the submission of opinions on whether to place them on the agenda of a session, and then decide whether to place them on the agenda of a session.

When deliberating, special committees may invite bill sponsors to attend the meeting and express opinions.

Article 16: When the National People’s Congress is not in session, bills introduced to it may first be submitted to its Standing Committee; and after a Standing Committee session has deliberated it in accordance with the relevant procedures set forth in Section 3 of Chapter 2 of this Law, and decided to request deliberation by the National People's Congress, the Standing Committee, or the bills' sponsors are to make explanations to the plenary session.

In deliberating bills in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph, the Standing Committee shall solicit comments from National People's Congress delegates in multiple ways, and give feedback on the relevant situations; special committees and working bodies of the Standing Committee conducting research on legislation may invite National People's Congress delegates to participate.

Article 17: For bills that the Standing Committee has decided to submit to a session of the National People’s Congress for deliberation, the draft laws shall be distributed to the delegates one month prior to the commencement of the session.

Article 18: For bills on the agenda of a session of the National People’s Congress, each delegation is to conduct deliberation after the plenary meeting has heard the bills' sponsors explanations.

When delegations deliberate bills, the bills' sponsors shall send representatives to hear comments and answer questions.

When delegations deliberate bills, based on the delegations' requests, the relevant organs or organizations shall send representatives to brief the delegations.

Article 19: Bills that are on the agenda of the National People’s Congress session are to be deliberated by the relevant special committees, which are to submit deliberation opinions to the Presidium that will be printed and distributed at the session.

Article 20: For bills that are on the agenda of a session of National People’s Congress, the Law Committee is to conduct uniform deliberation on the basis of the delegations and relevant special committees' deliberation opinions as delivered by the delegations and the relevant special committees, and is to submit a report on the outcomes of the deliberation and the revised draft laws to the Presidium, and the report shall explain the major dissenting views; after the Presidium has deliberated and passed the report and draft revisions, they are to be printed and circulated at the session.

Article 21: For bills that are on the agenda of the session of the National People’s Congress, when necessary, the executive chairmen of the Presidium may convene a meeting of delegation leaders, and hear the deliberation opinions of each delegation on major issues in the bill, conduct discussions, and report to the Presidium on the status of the discussion and the opinions expressed.

The executive chairmen of the Presidium may also convene a meeting of the relevant delegates selected by various delegations to discuss major specialized issues involved in bills, and report to the Presidium on the status of the discussion and the opinions expressed.

Article 22: Where before bills on the agenda of a session of the National People’s Congress are sent for a vote, the bills' sponsors request to withdraw them, the bills' sponsors shall explain the reasons for the withdrawal, and subject to consent of the Presidium, a report is to be made to the session, whereupon deliberation on that bill is concluded.

Article 23: Where there are major issues that require further study in the course of deliberating bills, upon motion brought by the presidium and decided upon by the plenary session, the Standing Committee may be authorized to conduct further deliberation based on the opinions of the delegates, make a decision, and report the decision to the next session of the National People’s Congress; the Standing Committee may also be authorized to conduct further deliberation, propose an revision plan, and submit it to the next session of the National People’s Congress for deliberation and decision.

Article 24: Upon deliberation by each delegation, the draft revisions to the law are to be further revised by the Law Committee based on the deliberation opinions of the delegations, and the Law Committee shall put forward a voting draft of the law that the Presidium is to submit it to the plenary session for voting, which can be passed by a majority of all delegates.

Article 25: Laws passed by the National People’s Congress are to be promulgated by way of a presidential order signed by the nation's president.

Section 3: Legislative Procedure of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Article 26: The Council of Chairmen may introduce bills to the Standing Committee, and Standing Committee sessions will deliberate them.

The State Council, Central Military Committee, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and each special committee of the National People's Congress may introduce bills to the Standing Committee, and the Council of Chairmen will make a decision on putting the bills on the agenda of a session of the Standing Committee, or may first refer them to the relevant special committees to deliberate and issue reports, and then make a decision to put it on the agenda of a Standing Committee session. If the Council of Chairmen finds that there are major issues in bills, requiring further study, it may recommend that the bills' sponsors revise and improve the bill before it is submitted to the Standing Committee.

Article 27: Ten or more constituent members of the Standing Committee acting jointly, may introduce bills to the Standing Committee, and the Council of Chairmen is to decide whether to put them on the agenda of a Standing Committee’s session, or first refer them to the relevant special committees for deliberation and recommendations on whether to put them on a session agenda, before deciding to put it on a Standing Committee session's agenda. Where bills are not put on Standing Committee sessions' agendas, the Council of Chairmen shall make a report to the Standing Committee session or give explanations to the bills' sponsors.

When deliberating, special committees may invite bill sponsors to attend the meeting and express opinions.

Article 28: For bills which are on the agenda of a Standing Committee session, absent special circumstances, the draft laws shall be distributed to the constituent members of the Standing Committee seven days prior to commencement of the session.

When deliberating bills, Standing Committee sessions shall invite relevant National People's Congress Delegates to attend the session.

Article 29: Bills that have been put on the agenda of Standing Committee sessions, shall generally be deliberated three times by Standing Committee sessions before being submitted for a vote.

During the initial deliberation of the bill at a Standing Committee session, an explanation by the sponsor is to be heard at a plenary meeting, and group meetings are to conduct preliminary deliberations.

During the second deliberation of bills by Standing Committee sessions, comments of the Law Committee on the status of revisions and major issues regarding the draft law are to be heard at a plenary meeting, and further deliberations are to be conducted by subgroup meetings.

During the third deliberation of bills by Standing Committee sessions, the Law Committee's deliberation outcome report on the draft law is be heard at a plenary meeting, and subgroup meetings are to further deliberate the revisions to the draft law.

When deliberating bills, the Standing Committee may convene joint group meetings or plenary meetings, as necessary, to discuss the major issues in the draft law.

Article 30: For bills that are on the agenda of Standing Committee sessions, where a consensus is largely formed, it may be submitted for a vote after two deliberations by Standing Committee sessions; where there is a single matter for adjustment, or for bills which partially revise a law, and a preponderant consensus is formed, it may also be brought to a vote after a single deliberation by a session of the Standing Committee.

Article 31: When Standing Committee subgroups deliberate bills, the bills' sponsors shall send representatives to hear comments and answer questions.

When Standing Committee subgroups deliberate bills, as requested by a subgroup, the relevant organs or organizations shall send representatives to introduce the situation.

Article 32: Legislative bills that have been placed on the agenda of a Standing Committee session are to be deliberated by the relevant special committees, which are to submit deliberation opinions to be printed and distributed to the Standing Committee session.

When deliberating legislative bills, the relevant special committees may invite members of other special committees to attend the meetings as non-voting attendees and express opinions.

Article 33: For bills that have been put on the agendas of Standing Committee sessions, the Law Committee is to conduct uniform deliberation based on the deliberation opinions of the constituent members of the Standing Committee and relevant special committees, and the opinions of various sides; and is to submit a report on the status of revisions or a deliberation conclusion report and the revised draft law; with major dissenting views explained in the report or deliberation conclusion report. Where the deliberation opinions of relevant special committees are not adopted, this shall be reported back to the special committees.

When deliberating bills, the Law Committee shall invite members of the relevant special committees to attend the meeting and express opinions.

Article 34: When deliberating bills, special committees shall convene a plenary session, and as necessary, may request that the relevant organs or organizations send relevant responsible parties to explain the circumstances.

Article 35: When there is disagreement among the special committees on an important issue in a draft law, they shall report to the Council of Chairpersons.

Article 36: For bills which are on the agendas of Standing Committee sessions, the Law Committee, the relevant special committees, and the working bodies of the Standing Committees shall hear the opinions of all sides. Opinions may be heard using various methods, such as symposia, debate sessions, and hearings.

Where issues related to bills are of a more specialized nature, and it is necessary to conduct an appraisal of their feasibility, an evidence review meeting shall be convened to hear opinions from all sides, such as from relevant experts, departments, and delegates of the National People's Congress. Reports on the debate [sessions] shall be made to the Standing Committee.

Where there are major divergent opinions on issues related to bills, or on issues involving major adjustments of interests and relations, and it is necessary to conduct a hearing, a hearing shall be convened to hear the opinions of relevant basic level and group representatives, departments, people's organizations, experts, National People's Congress delegates and relevant aspects of society. Reports on the debate [sessions] shall be made to the Standing Committee.

The working bodies of the Standing Committee shall distribute draft laws to the delegates to the National People’s Congress in the relevant fields, the standing committees of local people’s congresses, as well as relevant departments, organizations, and experts, to solicit their opinions.

Article 37: For a legislative bill that has been placed on the agenda of a Standing Committee session, the draft law and an explanation of its drafting or revision, etc. shall be released to the public for comment after the Standing Committee session, except where the Council of Chairpersons decides not to release them. The period for release to the public for solicitation of comments is usually not to be less than thirty days. A report on the solicitation of comments shall be made to the public.

Article 38: For bills that are on the agenda of a Standing Committee session, the working bodies of the Standing Committee shall collect and compile the comments made by the subgroups during deliberation, an comments submitted by all sides, as well as other relevant materials and send them to the Law Committee and relevant special committees, and a necessary, distribute them at Standing Committee sessions.

Article 39: For bills that are intended to be submitted to Standing Committee sessions for deliberation, before the Law Committee submits it's deliberation outcome report, working bodies of the Standing Committee may conduct appraisals of issues such as the feasibility of major systems in draft laws, the timing of the new laws, the social impact of implementing the laws, and problems that might emerge. The Law Committee is to explain the outcome of the evaluations in the report on the results of deliberations.

Article 40: Where the sponsor requests to withdraw a legislative bill that has been placed on the agenda of a Standing Committee session before it is put to a vote, it shall give an explanation, and deliberation of the legislative bill ends once the Council of Chairpersons gives consent and reports to the Standing Committee.

Article 41: Upon deliberation of revised draft laws by the Standing Committee session, the Law Committee is to make further revisions based on the comments made during deliberation by constituent members of the Standing Committee, and put forward voting drafts of the laws; and the Council of Chairmen is to request that a plenary session of the Standing Committee make a vote, and the Standing Committee may pass them by a majority vote of all its constituent members.

Before the voting drafts of bills are sent to Standing Committee sessions for deliberation and voting, the Council of Chairmen may decide, based on the deliberations of the Standing Committee session, to submit individual important clauses on which opinions greatly differ to a separate vote by a Standing Committee session.

After a Standing Committee session votes on clauses submitted for a separate vote, the Council of Chairmen may, based on the separate vote, decide to submit the voting drafts of the laws for a vote, or may also decide to temporarily not submit them for a vote, and send them to the Law Committee and relevant special committees for further review.

Article 42: For bills deliberated by a Standing Committee session, where deliberation on the bill has been postponed for two years due to larger differences among different sides on major issues such as the necessity or feasibility of formulating such bills; or where bills were temporarily not introduced for voting and have not been put on the agenda of a Standing Committee session for two years, the Council of Chairmen is to make a report to the Standing Committee, and deliberation of the bill is to be concluded.

Article 43: Where legislative bills are submitted together to revise individual provisions in multiple laws that involve similar matters, they may be voted on together or may be also voted on separately as decided by the Council of Chairpersons.

Article 44: Laws adopted by the Standing Committee are to be promulgated by presidential orders signed by the President of the People’s Republic of China.

Section 4: Legislative Interpretation

Article 45: The power to interpret laws belongs to the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is to make interpretations where laws have any of the following circumstances:

(1) the specific meanings of the laws' provisions require further clarification;

(2) new situations arise after the laws' enactment, so it is necessary to clarify the legal basis for their application.

Article 46: The State Council, Central Military Commission, Supreme People’s Court, Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and each special committee of the National People's Congress; as well as the Standing Committee of the People’s Congresses of each province, autonomous region, and directly governed municipality, may make requests for legislative interpretation to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Article 47: The working bodies of the Standing Committee are to research and prepare draft legislative interpretations, and the Council of Chairmen is to make a decision as to putting them on the agendas of Standing Committee sessions.

Article 48: Upon deliberation by a Standing Committee session, draft legislative interpretations are to be deliberated and revised by the Law Committee, based on comments made by constituent members of the Standing Committee, and it shall submit a voting draft of the legislative interpretation.

Article 49: The voting version of a draft legislative interpretation is to be adopted by a simple majority of all constituent members of the Standing Committee and promulgated by a public announcement of the Standing Committee.

Article 50: Legislative interpretations issued by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress have the same force as laws.

Section 5: Other Provisions

Article 51: The National People's Congress and its Standing Committee are to strengthen the organization and coordination of legislative work, playing a leading role in legislative work.

Article 52: Through adopting legislative plans, an annual legislation program, and other such means, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress strengthens the overall arrangement of legislative work. Preparation of legislative plans and the annual legislation program shall earnestly study delegate's proposals and suggestions, broadly solicit opinions, scientifically debate and evaluate, and determine legislative projects on the basis of the needs of economic and social development and the establishment of democratic rule, and increase the timeliness, focus, and systematization of legislation. Legislative plans and the annual legislation programs are adopted and released to the public by the Council of Chairmen.

The working bodies of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress are responsible for preparing legislative plans and formulating the annual legislation programs, and are to urge the implementation of the legislative plans and annual legislation programs in accordance with the requirements of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Article 53: The relevant special committees of the National People's Congress and the working bodies of the Standing Committee, shall participate in relevant aspects of drafting draft laws in advance; and for important draft laws that are comprehensive, of broad importance, or fundamental, the relevant special committees and the working bodies of the Standing Committee may organize the drafting.

For draft laws that are quite specialized, experts from relevant fields may be brought into to participate in drafting efforts, or relevant experts, academic research units, and social organizations, may be entrusted to make a draft.

Article 54: In submitting a legislative bill, [the sponsor] shall submit a text of the draft law and an accompanying explanation at the same time, and provide necessary reference materials. Where laws are revised, a comparison of the versions before and after the revisions shall also be provided. The explanation of draft laws shall include the need for its formulation or revision, it's feasibility, and main content, as well as circumstances of coordinating and handling major differences of opinion during the drafting process.

Article 55: For bills introduced to the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee, the bills' sponsors have the right to withdraw the bill before it is put on the agenda.

Article 56: Where bills introduced to the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee have been voted on by the plenary session and fail to pass, if the bills' sponsors feel it is necessary to formulate the laws, they may re-introduce it in accordance with legally-prescribed procedures, and the Presidium or the Council of Chairmen is to decide whether it will be put on a session's agenda; of these, bills that failed to be adopted by the National People’s Congress shall be re-introduced to the National People’s Congress for deliberation and decision.

Article 57: Laws shall specify the date for their implementation.

Article 58: Presidential orders promulgating laws shall set forth the formulating organ, the date of passage, and the date of implementation.

After laws are promulgated, they should be promptly published in the Gazette of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and on the National People's Congress website, as well as in nationally-circulated newspapers.

The text of laws as published in the Gazette of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is the standard text.

Article 59: The relevant provisions of this chapter apply to the procedures on the revision and repeal of laws.

Where laws are partially revised, a new version of the law shall be published.

Where laws are repealed, unless the repeal of the laws is provided for in other laws, a presidential order signed by the nation's president is to be released.

Article 60: Where draft laws are inconsistent with other relevant legal provisions, the bill's sponsors shall give an explanation and submit handling proposals; when necessary, proposals to revise or repeal the other relevant legal provisions shall be submitted concurrently.

When the Law Committee and relevant special committees deliberate a bill and find that it is necessary to revise or repeal other relevant legal provisions, they shall submit a handling proposals.

Article 61: Where required by its content, a laws maybe divided into Titles, Chapters, Sections, Articles, Paragraphs, Items, and Sub-items.

Titles, Chapters, Sections, and Articles are to be numbered with Chinese characters in numerical order, and Paragraphs are not to be numbered; the numbers for items are to be expressed as Chinese numbers in parentheses in numerical order, and the numbering for sub-items is to be in Arabic numbers in numerical order.

Laws' subtitles shall indicate the formulating organ and the date of adoption. Laws that have been revised shall indicate the revising organ and date of revision for each instance.

Article 62: Where a provision in a law clearly requires the relevant state organs to make specific accompanying provisions on special matters, the relevant state organs shall make such provisions within one year after the law takes effect, but where the law prescribes a different time period for formulating specific accompanying provisions, follow those provisions. Where the relevant state organs fail to make specific accompanying provisions within the time period, they shall explain the circumstances to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Article 63: The relevant special committees of the National People’s Congress and working bodies of the Standing Committee may organize post-legislative evaluations of relevant laws or relevant provisions in laws. Reports on the evaluations shall be made to the Standing Committee. A report on the evaluation shall be made to the Standing Committee.

Article 64: The working bodies of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress may study and respond to legal inquiries regarding specific issues and file [such responses] with the Standing Committee for recording.

Chapter III: Administrative Regulations

Article 65: The State Council is to formulate administrative regulations in accordance with the Constitution and laws.

Administrative regulations may make provisions on the following matters:

(1) matters for which formulation of administrative regulations is required in order to implement laws;

(2) matters over which the State Council has administrative authority as provided by Article 89 of the Constitution.

Where the State Council has first formulated administrative regulations on matters on which the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee shall formulate laws, in accordance with authorizing decisions of the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee, and as tested by practice, the conditions for formulating laws have become ripe, the State Council shall promptly request the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee to formulate laws.

Article 66: The State Council legislative affairs body shall formulate the State Council's annual legislation program on the basis of the overall national work allocations, and report this to the State Council for review and approval. The legal projects in the State Council's annual legislation program shall be linked to the legislative plan and annual legislation program of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The State Council legislative affairs body shall promptly track the implementation of the legislative agenda by each State Council department, strengthening organizational coordination, and supervisory guidance.

Where relevant State Council departments find that it is necessary to formulate administrative regulations, they shall report the project for filing with the State Council.

Article 67: The relevant State Council departments, or the State Council legislative affairs body, are specifically responsible for creating drafts of administrative regulations; the State Council legislative affairs body is to organize the drafting important administrative management laws and administrative regulations. In the process of drafting administrative regulations, the opinions of relevant organs, organizations, people's congress delegates and the public shall be broadly heard. Opinions may be heard using various methods, such as symposia, debate sessions, and hearings.

Draft administrative regulations shall be released to the public for solicitation comments, except where the State Council decides not to release them.

Article 68: Upon completion of a draft administrative regulation, the drafting body shall send the draft administrative regulation, its explanations, the major dissenting opinions from each side on major issues in the draft, and other relevant materials to the State Council legislative affairs body for review.

The State Council’s legislative affairs body shall submit a review report and a revised version of the draft to the State Council; the review report shall explain the major issues with the draft.

Article 69: Procedures for deciding upon administrative regulations shall be handled in accordance with the relevant provisions of the State Council Organic Law of the People's Republic of China.

Article 70: Administrative regulations are to be promulgated by the a State Council order signed by the Premier.

Administrative regulations concerning national defense construction may be promulgated by orders of the State Council and the Central Military Commission jointly signed by the Premier of the State Council and Chairperson of the Central Military Commission.

Article 71: After administrative regulations are signed and promulgated, they are to be promptly published in the Gazette of the State Council, on the Chinese Government Legal Information Net, and in nationally circulated newspapers.

The text of administrative regulations published in the Gazette of the State Council is the standard text.

Chapter IV: Local Regulations, Autonomous Regulations and Special Regulations, and Rules

Section 1: Local Regulations, Autonomous Regulations and Special Regulations

Article 72: Based on the specific situations and actual needs of the administrative region, provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality people's congresses and their Standing Committees may formulate local provisions so long as they do not contravene any provision of the Constitution, laws, and administrative regulations.

Based on the specific circumstances and actual requirements of cities, the people's congresses of districted-cities and their standing committees may formulate local provisions in areas such as urban and rural construction and administration, environmental protection, and historic and cultural protection, so long as the local provisions do not contravene the Constitution, laws, administrative regulations, or the local provisions and regulations of that province or autonomous region; but where laws have other provisions on the matters that on which districted-cities formulate administrative regulations, follow those provisions. The local regulations of districted-cities are to take effect after being reported to and approved by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the relevant province or autonomous region. The standing committees of the people's congresses of provinces or autonomous regions shall conduct a review of the legality of local regulations submitted for approval, and shall approve them within four months if such they do not contravene the Constitution, laws, administrative regulations or the local regulations of that province or autonomous region.

When the standing committee of the people’s congress of a province or an autonomous region, in reviewing the local regulations of districted cities submitted for approval, discovers that they contravene the rules of the people’s government of that province or autonomous region, it shall make a decision on how to handle [the contravention].

Except for in cities where people's governments of provinces or autonomous regions are located where special economic zones are located, or in bigger cities already approved by the State Council, the specific steps and timing for districted-cities to begin formulating local regulations are to be determined by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the relevant provinces or autonomous regions, on the basis of a comprehensive consideration of the population size, territory area, economic and social development, legislative requirements, legislative capacity and other factors of the districted-cities in the jurisdiction of the relevant provinces or autonomous regions, and are to be submitted to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council for filing.

Autonomous prefecture's people's congresses and their standing committees may exercise the authority of districted-cities for formulating local regulations as provided by Paragraph 2 of this article. The specific steps and timing for autonomous prefectures to begin formulation of local regulations shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

Local regulations already formulated by the cities where people's governments of provinces or autonomous regions are located, where special economic zones are located, or the bigger cities approved by the State Council, that involve matters outside the scope provided for in Paragraph 2 of this article, shall remain in force.

Article 73: Local regulations may be made on the following matters:

(1) Matters for which specific provisions are necessary, based on the actual circumstances of the administrative region, for the implementation of laws or administrative regulations.

(2) Matters of local affairs that require formulation of local regulations.

Except for those matters provided for in article 8 of this law, where the government has not formulated laws or administrative regulations on other matters, provinces, autonomous regions, directly governed municipalities, districted-cities and autonomous prefectures may first formulate local regulations based on specific local conditions and actual need. After nationally formulated laws or administrative regulations take effect, local regulations that contravene the laws or administrative regulations are voided, and the formulating organs shall promptly revise or repeal them.

Local regulations formulated by districted-cities or autonomous prefectures on the basis of paragraphs 1 or 2 of this article are limited to the matters provided for in article 72 paragraph 2 of this law.

In formulating local regulations, duplicative provisions are generally not to be made on matters for which superior legislation already has clear provisions.

Article 74: The people's congresses and their standing committees of provinces or cities containing special economic zones are to formulate regulations on the basis of authorization decisions from the National People's Congresses, to be implemented within the special economic zone

Article 75: The people's congresses of ethnic autonomous areas have the power to formulate autonomous regulations and special regulations on the basis of the political, economic and cultural characteristics of the local ethnicities. Autonomous regulations and special regulations of autonomous regions are to take effect after being submitted to and approved by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The autonomous regulations and special regulations of autonomous prefectures or autonomous counties are to take effect after being submitted to and approved by the standing committees of the people's congresses of the relevant provinces, autonomous regions directly governed municipalities.

In accordance with local ethnic characteristics, autonomous regulations and special regulations may make provisions adapting laws and administrative regulations, but must not contradict the basic principles of the laws or administrative regulations, and must not make provisions adapting provisions of the Constitution or the Law on Ethnic Autonomous Regions, or other laws and administrative regulations provisions specially addressing ethnic autonomous regions.

Article 76: Local regulations on especially major matters in an administrative region are to be passed by the people's congress.

Article 77: The procedures for submission, deliberation and voting on bills of local regulations, autonomous regulations or special regulations, are to be provided for by the people's congresses at the corresponding levels in accordance with the "Organic Law of the People's Republic of China on Local People's Congresses and Local People's Governments", and with reference to the provisions of Sections 2, 3 and 5 of Chapter II of this Law.

Deliberation outcome reports and a revised draft of local regulations are to be submitted by the body responsible for uniform deliberation.

Article 78: Local regulations formulated by the people's congress of a province, autonomous region or directly governed municipality are to be published and announced by the congress Presidium.

Local regulations formulated by the Standing Committee of a provincial, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality's people's congress are to be published and announced by the standing committee.

After approval, local regulations formulated by districted-cities or autonomous prefectures' people's congresses or their standing committees, are to be released by public announcement by the standing committee of the districted-cities or autonomous prefectures' people's congress.

After approval, autonomous regulations and special regulations are to be released by public announcement by the standing committee of the autonomous region, autonomous prefecture, or autonomous county's people's congress.

Article 79: After a local provision, autonomous regulation or special regulation of an autonomous region is promulgated, it shall be published in a timely fashion in the bulletin of the standing committee of the people's congress at the same level, on the website of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China and the website of local people's congress as well as in the newspapers issued within the administrative region.

The text of local provisions, autonomous and special regulations published in the Gazette of the Standing Committee are the standard text.

Section 2: [Local and Administrative] Rules

Article 80: The departments and commissions under the State Council, the People's Bank of China, the National Audit Office, and directly controlled institutions with administrative regulatory functions may formulate rules within the scope of that agency's authority on the basis of laws, state council administrative regulations, decisions, or orders.

The matters provided for by departmental rules shall be within the scope of enforcing laws or State Council administrative regulations, decisions, or orders. Departmental rules not based on a law, State Council administrative regulation, decision or order must not impair the rights of citizens, legal persons or other organizations, or increase the scope of their duties; and must not increase the power of that department or reduce that department's legally-prescribed duties.

Article 81: For matters that are within the scope of authority of two or more State Council departments, the State Council shall be requested to formulate administrative regulations or have the relevant departments of the State Council jointly formulate rules.

Article 82: The people's governments of provinces, autonomous regions, directly-governed municipalities, districted-cities, or autonomous prefectures may formulate rules on the basis of laws and administrative regulations as well as local regulations of their respective provinces, autonomous regions, or directly governed municipalities.

Local government rules may be made on the following matters:

(1) Matters for which it is necessary to formulate rules for the implementation of laws, administrative regulations, or local regulations;

(2) Specific matters that fall within the administrative management of that administrative region.

The formulation of local government rules by the people's governments of districted-cities and autonomous prefectures in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2 of this article is limited to matters relating to areas such as urban and rural construction and administration, environmental protection, and historical and cultural protection. Local government rules that have already been formulated and involve matters outside the scope of the aforementioned matters are to remain in force.

Except for the cities where the people's governments of the provinces or autonomous regions are located and the special economic zones are located, as well as the bigger cities with the approval of the State Council, the time for the people's government of any other districted-city or an autonomous prefecture to formulate rules shall be the same as the time for the said city or autonomous prefecture to start formulating local regulations as determined by the standing committee of the people's congress of the province or autonomous region where that city or autonomous prefecture is located.

Where local regulations shall be formulated but the conditions are not yet ripe, local government rules may be enacted first to satisfy the urgent needs of administrative management. Where it is necessary to continue implementing the administrative measures provided for by such rules after they have been in effect for two years, the people’s congress at the same level or its standing committee shall be requested to formulate local regulations.

Without any basis in laws, administrative regulations, or local regulations, local government rules must not prescribe norms that impair the rights of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations or increase their obligations

Article 83: The State Council is to provide the procedures for formulation of State Council department rules and local government rules, with reference to Chapter III of this law.

Article 84: Department Rules shall be decided on by ministerial meetings or commission meetings.

Local government rules shall be decided on by the government executive meeting or plenary meeting.

Article 85: Department rules are to be signed by the department heads for publication.

Local government rules are to be signed by the Provincial governor, autonomous region chair, mayor, or governor of an autonomous prefecture for publication.

Article 86: After department rules are signed and released, they are to be promptly published in the Gazette of the State Council or Department and on the Chinese Government Legal Information Network, as well as in newspapers with a national circulation.

After local government rules are signed and released, they are to be promptly published in the Gazette of the People Government and on the Chinese Government Legal Information Network, as well as in newspapers with a national circulation.

The text of rules published in the Gazettes of the State Council, department, or local people's government, are the standard texts.

Chapter V: Application and Review and Filing

Article 87: The Constitution has the highest legal force; no law, administrative regulation, local regulation, autonomous regulation or separate regulation, or rule may contravene the Constitution.

Article 88: The force of laws is higher than that of administrative regulations, local regulations, and rules.

The force of administrative regulations is higher than that of local regulations, and rules.

Article 89: The force of local regulations is higher than that of the rules of local governments at or below the corresponding level.

Rules formulated by the people’s government of a province or autonomous region have higher legal authority than local rules formulated by the people’s government of a districted-city of autonomous prefecture located in its jurisdiction.

Article 90: Where autonomous regulations or separate regulations lawfully make varying provisions of laws, administrative regulations, or local regulations, such provisions of the autonomous regulations or separate regulations are to be applied in the corresponding autonomous area.

Where an authorized decree of a special economic zone adapts provisions of laws, administrative regulations, or local provisions, the provisions of the decree of the special economic zone are applied in that special economic zone.

Article 91: Different departmental rules have the same force, as do departmental rules and local government rules, and they are to be applied within their respective scope of authority.

Article 92: Where special provisions are inconsistent with general provisions in the laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations and separate regulations, or rules formulated by the same organ, the special provisions are to be applied; where new provisions are inconsistent with old provisions, the new provisions are to be applied.

Article 93: Laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations and separate regulations, and rules are not retroactive, except for special provisions that are made to better protect the rights and interests of citizens, legal persons, and other organizations.

Article 94: When there is an inconsistency in laws regarding the same matter between a new general provision and an old special provisions, and the applicable provision can not be determined, a ruling is to be made by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

When there is an inconsistency in administrative regulations regarding the same matter between a new general provision and an old special provision, and the applicable provision can not be determined, a ruling is to be made by the State Council.

Article 95: When local regulations and rules are inconsistent, the relevant organs are to make a ruling in accordance with the following provisions on the scope of authority:

(1) When new general provisions and an old special provisions formulated by the same organ are inconsistent, the formulating organ is to make a ruling;

(2) When local regulations and department rules have inconsistent provisions on the same matter, and the applicable provision can not be determined, the State Council is to issue an opinion, and where the State Council finds that the local regulations shall apply, then the local regulations shall be applied in the local jurisdiction; where the State Council deems that the department rules shall apply, it shall request the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to make a ruling;

(3) When there are inconsistent provisions on a the same matter between department rules, or between departmental rules and local regulations, the State Council is to make a decision.

When regulations formulated pursuant to authorization and laws have inconsistent provisions, and the applicable provision cannot be determined, the Standing Committee of National People’s Congress is to make a ruling.

Article 96: Where any of the following circumstances applies to laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations, special regulations, or rules, the relevant organ are to revise or repeal it pursuant to the authority granted in Article 97 of this Law.

(1) It exceeds the scope of authority;

(2) A lower level law is contrary to provisions of a higher level law;

(3) Different provisions exist in respect of the same matter among rules, and pursuant to a ruling, one of the provisions shall be revised or repealed.

(4) The provision of a rule is found improper and shall be revised or repealed;

(5) It violates legally prescribed procedure.

Article 97: The authority to modify or annul laws, administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulation, separate regulations, or rules is as follows:

(1) The National People’s Congress has the authority to revise or repeal any improper law enacted by its Standing Committee, and to cancel any autonomous or special regulations approved by its Standing Committee in violation of the Constitution or the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 66 hereof;

(2) The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress has the authority to repeal any administrative regulation which contravenes the Constitution or any law, and to repeal any local regulations which contravene the Constitution or any law or administrative regulation, and to repeal any autonomous regulations or special regulations approved by the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress of any province, autonomous region, or directly governed municipality in violation of the Constitution or the provision of Paragraph 2 of Article 75 of this Law;

(3) The State Council has the authority to modify or annul any inappropriate departmental rule or local government rule;

(4) The people’s congress of a province, an autonomous region, or a directly governed municipality has the authority to modify or annul any inappropriate local regulations formulated or approved by its standing committee;

(5) The Standing Committees of local People’s Congresses have the authority to repeal any improper rules enacted by the people's governments at the same level;

(6) The People’s Governments of provinces and autonomous regions have the authority to revise or repeal any improper rules enacted by the People’s Government at the level below;

(7) The authorizing organ has the authority to repeal regulations that have been drafted by authorized organs acting beyond the scope of their authority, or in violation of the goal of the authorization decision, and where necessary, the authorizing organs may revoke the authorization.

Article 98: Administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations, separate regulations, and rules shall be filed with the relevant organs for recording within 30 days of promulgation in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) Administrative regulations are recorded with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress;

(2) Local regulations formulated by the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, or directly governed municipalities and their standing committees are recorded with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council; and those formulated by the people's congresses of districted-cities or autonomous prefectures and their standing committees are recorded with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council through the standing committees of the people's congresses of provinces or autonomous regions.

(3) Autonomous and special regulations formulated by the people's congresses of autonomous prefectures or counties are recorded with the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress and the State Council through the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions and directly governed municipalities; and when autonomous and special regulations are sent to be recorded, any adaptations to laws, administrative regulations, and local regulations shall be explained;

(4) department or local governmental rules are recorded with the State Council; local government rules are to be concurrently recorded with the standing committee of the local people's congress; local rules formulated by the people's government of a districted-city or autonomous prefecture shall be concurrently recorded with the standing committee of the people's congress and the people's government of that province or autonomous region;

(5) Regulations formulated upon the authorization shall be filed with the authorizing organ stipulated in the authorization decision. The regulations formulated by the special economic zones to be filed shall state the appropriate adaptations to the laws, administrative regulations and local regulations.

Article 99: When the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the Central Government consider that administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations or separate regulations contradict the Constitution or laws, they may submit to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress written requests for examination, and the working offices of the Standing Committee shall refer the requests to the relevant special committees for examination and suggestions.

When State organs other than those mentioned in the preceding paragraph, public organizations, enterprises and institutions or citizens consider that administrative regulations, local regulations, autonomous regulations or separate regulations contradict the Constitution or laws, they may submit to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress written suggestions for examination, and the working offices of the Standing Committee shall study the suggestions and shall, when necessary, refer them to the relevant special committees for examination and suggestions.

The special committees and the Standing Committee working bodies may conduct active review of normative documents sent for recording.

Article 100: Where during review or research special committees or the standing committee of the National People's Congress find that an administrative regulation or local provisions, autonomous or special regulations conflict with the Constitution or laws, they may submit a written review or research comment to the drafting organ; a joint review meeting may also be called between the Law Committee and the relevant special committee or the Standing Committee's operation office, requesting that the drafting organ attend to give an explanation, and then submit additional written review comments. The organ that has formulated the regulations shall, within two months, study and put forth suggestions as to whether to revise the regulations, and shall give feedback to the Law Committee and other relevant special committees of the National People's Congress.

Where the Law Committee of the National People's Congress, relevant special committees and the working office of the Standing Committee submit review or research comments to the drafting organ on the basis of the preceding paragraph, and the drafting organ follows the comments to adjust or annul the administrative regulation, local provisions, autonomous regulations or special regulations, the review is concluded.

Where upon review and research, the the Law Committee of the National People's Congress, relevant special committees or the working office of the Standing Committee find that administrative regulation, local provisions, autonomous regulations or special regulations conflict with the Constitution or Law, and the drafting organ does not revise them, a proposal or suggestion to have it withdrawn shall be sent to the Chairman's Committee, and the Chairman's Committee will make a decision to submit it to the Standing Committee for deliberation and decision.

Article 101: Relevant special committees and the working office of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress shall follow the requirements to give feedback on the condition of review and research to the national organ that recommended review, social groups, enterprises and public institutions and citizens for feedback, and may disclose it to the public.

Article 102: The procedures whereby other organs receiving filings review the local regulations, autonomous regulations, separate regulations, and rules filed for recording shall be prescribed by the organs receiving filings in accordance with the principle of preserving the uniformity in the legal system.

Chapter VI: Supplementary Provisions

Article 103: The Central Military Commission formulates military regulations according to the Constitution and the laws.

The various headquarters, divisions, and military areas of the Central Military Commission , and the Chinese People's Armed Police Forces, may formulate military rules consistent with their scope of authority in accordance with the relevant laws and military decrees, decisions and orders.

Military regulations and rules are implemented within the armed forces.

The Central Military Commission is to provide methods for formulating, revising, and repealing military regulations and rules in accordance with the principles provided by this Law.

Article 104: Interpretations on the specific application of laws in adjudication or procuratorate work that are issued by the Supreme People's Court or Supreme People's Procuratorate shall primarily target specific articles of laws, and be consistent with the goals, principles and original meaning of the legislation. Where encountering the situation provided for in the second paragraph of Article 45 of this Law, a request for a legislative interpretation, or a bill to formulate or revise relevant law, shall be submitted to the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Interpretations on the specific application of laws in adjudicatory or procuratorial work that are issued by the Supreme People’s Court or Supreme People’s Procuratorate shall be filed with the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for recording within 30 days of promulgation.

Adjudicatory and procuratorial organs other than the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate must not issue interpretations on the specific application of laws.

Article 105: This Law shall go into effect on July 1, 2000.

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. ewan0707 ewan0707 2015/03/19

    The last sentence “广东省东莞市和中山市、甘肃省嘉峪关市、海南省三沙市,比照适用本决定有关赋予设区的市地方立法权的规定。 ” only appears in the amending decision and not in the amended law as published by the NPC. See http://www.npc.gov.cn/npc/dbdhhy/12_3/2015-03/18/content_1930713.htm.

    Also, the article numbers referred to in Articles 96, 97, etc. of the amended law have been updated to reflect the amendment. Also see the link above.

    • CLT CLT Post author | 2015/03/19

      Thanks, I’m pretty sure the numbering is right with the final draft, but that sentence somehow didn’t get deleted! It’s gone now.

  2. […] bill. Since 2013, it has been asking for comments multiple times for the same bill. In 2015, it codified “legislative openness” as a guiding principle for lawmaking. Most recently, in the summer of […]

  3. […] bill. Since 2013, it has been asking for comments multiple times for the same bill. In 2015, it codified “legislative openness” as a guiding principle for lawmaking. Most recently, in the summer of […]

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