China’s top legislature opened its bi-monthly session Friday to review bills including draft laws on supervision, the prevention and control of soil pollution, and a draft revision to the law on farmers’ specialized cooperatives.
Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), presided over the opening meeting Friday morning.
The NPC Law Committee suggested the draft revision to the law on farmers’ specialized cooperatives as well as the draft laws on tobacco leaf tax and ship tonnage tax be put to vote at the session.
Legislators continued to review the draft supervision law. The draft has included major revisions to standardize the new detention system, which is designed to replace the practice of “shuanggui” to ensure the rights of detained suspects.
The families and work units of detained suspects should be notified of their detention within 24 hours. Exceptions can only be made when there is danger of collusion, evidence or witness tampering or other forms of obstruction to the investigation, according to the draft.
The draft clarifies the previous provision, which vaguely stated that exceptions could be made under “circumstances that could obstruct investigation.”
Shuanggui is an intra-party disciplinary practice, exercised by Party disciplinary officials, in which a CPC member under investigation must cooperate with questioning at a set time and place.
A report on the draft law protecting heroes and martyrs was submitted to and heard at the session for first review.
Departments including public security, culture, press and cyberspace have a responsibility to protect the reputation and honor of heroes and martyrs in their supervision, while it is the duty of Internet operators to handle online information that infringes on heroes and martyrs in a timely manner, according to the draft law.
The draft law bans the illicit appropriation of land and facilities near memorials of heroes and martyrs, as well as any damage or contamination of such memorials.
Those who appropriate, damage or contaminate memorials, and insult or slander heroes and martyrs, may receive administrative penalties from public security or even criminal sanctions, the draft reads.
The Standing Committee of the NPC also heard a report on the draft revision to the Law on Farmers’ Specialized Cooperatives, which grants the cooperatives equal legal status with other market entities, and the right to invest in enterprises in accordance with the law.
Two draft revisions to laws on judges and prosecutors were discussed to legislate judicial reforms.
Compared with the current law, the draft revision to the Judges Law adds stipulations about the establishment of selection committees responsible for examining the professional competence of judge candidates in the Supreme People’s Court and provincial-level areas.
According to the draft revision to the prosecutors law, a similar selection mechanism for prosecutors has been introduced. It states that committees should be established to select prosecutors in the Supreme People’s Procuratorate and provincial-level areas.
Legislators also heard reports on draft laws on basic medical care and health promotion, international judicial assistance in criminal matters, people’s juries and others, which will be further deliberated.
Several reports, including one on the implementation of the cybersecurity law and the protection of online information, will be discussed during the six-day session, according to the agenda.