China has been moving toward "rule of law" for more than a decade. It has been an eventful period, during which common people are given increasing say in law-making
By YAO BIN
For years in China, administrative regulations issued by government agencies have constituted a major basis of the legal system and prove effective in the settlement of a large proportion of judicial proceedings due to their concrete and specific stipulations. However, since the regulations place more emphasis on feasibility, most of them are case-oriented and their formulation always follows simplified procedures. A direct result of insufficient consultation during the shaping of the regulations means they fail to take into account concerns of different interest groups and are therefore ineffective in dealing with some unexpected circumstances. Worse still, loopholes in these statutes were abused to legalize the infringements on the lawful rights and interests of citizens and corporations in some cases.
Clearly, a complete change of the abovementioned situation lies in the establishment of a strict and transparent legislation system that features the broadest public participation.
In 2000, China promulgated its first Legislation Law, which clarifies the obligations of legislatures at various levels to institutionalize measures that can ensure the laws are made by the people and for the people. Its Article 5 states, "Lawmaking shall reflect the will of the people, promote socialist democracy, and ensure that people are able to participate in the lawmaking process through various channels."
The first successful attempt for this purpose was launched in 2001 with the revision of the Marriage Law. It's reported that after the draft amendment of the law was published, the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, were flooded with feedback from people aged 13 to 90.