Draft Amendments to Marriage Law Open for General Debate

The heatedly debated draft amendments to the Marriage Law, which have just been jointly reviewed by China's top legislature, was publicized Thursday to seek proposals from the general public.

Relevant departments across the country are required to present views and proposals from the general public to the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) before February 28, according to a notice issued by the NPC General Office.

Individuals are also welcome to mail their viewpoints and proposals to the Commission or standing committees of the provincial-level people's congress, the notice says.

Since 1982, China has publicized seven draft laws for general debate, such as the draft amendments to the Constitution, draft Administrative Procedure Law, draft basic laws of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and of Macao SAR, which has proved very effective.

With the rampant practice of "keeping concubine or mistress", the amending of the Marriage Law has become a hot issue in China. A number of issues, such as whether to expand the present definition of "committing bigamy", how to divide property in divorce cases, and how to combat domestic violence, have been intensely discussed by the lawmakers as well as by the general public.

(People’s Daily 01/11/2001)

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