Renmin Chinese Law Review
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Renmin Chinese Law Review

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 1

Edited by Jichun Shi

Renmin Chinese Law Review, Vol. 1 is the first work in a series of annual volumes on contemporary Chinese law, which bring together the work of recognised scholars from China, offering a window on current legal research in China.
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Chapter 5: Rethinking the NPC Standing Committee’s basic law revision power

Selected Papers of The Jurist (法学家), Volume 1

Lin Yan


In recent years, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee’s (‘NPCSC’ hereinafter) exercise of the basic law revision power has often been a topic of academic dispute. For instance, in 2008, legal scholars disputed whether the NPCSC could revise the Criminal Procedure Act by amending the Lawyers Law. In 2010, the issue of whether the NPCSC could have the authority to revise the People’s Representatives Law (‘PRL’ hereinafter) was also hotly debated. Some law professors argued that the NPCSC could not be allowed to amend the PRL, and it should be changed by the NPC itself. Others challenged that it is impossible to prevent the NPCSC from revising the PRL, since the Constitution has clearly authorized it to revise basic laws and the PRL is absolutely a basic law. Although the NPCSC eventually did adopt the revised bill, it is still worth pondering the rationality of the exercise of the basic law revision power, as well as the relationship between the NPC and its standing committee.

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