China Legal System
People’s Republic of China (PRC) has 33 administrative units govern directly under the central government which consists of 22 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 municipalities and 2 special administrative regions.
The National People’s Congress (NPC) of the PRC is the most powerful authority in the country. NPC has the power to amend the Constitution, among others, to elect the office of president and the vice president of the country. (reference to Chapter III Sections 1 and 2 of the Constitution)
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee enacts and amends those laws that the NPC does not enact.
The State Council has the highest authorities of the State. (reference to Chapter III Section 3 of the Constitution) The Central Military Commission governs the military force of the country. (reference to Chapter III Section 4 of the Constitution) Local People’s Congresses are the authority of the local state. Local People’s Governments are empowering with the local state administrative authority. Local states include provinces and municipalities. (reference to Chapter III Section 5 of the Constitution)
Autonomous regions exercise their power to self-govern in accordance the authority empowers by the Constitution and the Law on Regional Ethnic Autonomy and other laws based on their political, economy and customs of the local ethnic groups in their regions. (reference to Chapter III Section 6 of the Constitution)
The National Commission of Supervision is responsible to the NPC and NPC Standing Committee. It has the highest supervisory authority. Under the National Commission of Supervision, there are Local Commissions of Supervision. (reference to Chapter III Section 7 of the Constitution)
The People’s Courts of the PRC are the adjudicatory authorities which consist of Supreme People’s Court, Local People’s Courts, Military Courts and other Special People’s Courts. The Supreme People’s Court is the highest adjudicatory court. It is responsible to NPC and NPC Standing Committee. (reference to Chapter III Section 8 of the Constitution)
The Supreme People’s Procuratorate is the highest procuatorate authority. Except in special circumstances, all cases are to be tried in public.
There are hundreds of local dialects in PRC, the People’s courts and the People’s Procuratorates provide translation services and the local courts and procuratorates would use the language commonly used in that state.
The Constitution consists of 143 articles. It is said in its preamble that PRC is one of the countries having over 3000 years’ history in the world. It is one of the world’s four ancient civilization countries.
The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China was adopted at the Fifth Session of the Fifth National People’s Congress and proclaimed on 4 December 1982. The fifth amendment was adopted on 11 March 2018
Socialism is the fundamental legal ideology of the PRC law. The Constitution provides that all the power of the country belongs to the people.
Article 3 of the Constitution says
“the state institutions of the People’s Republic of China shall practice the principle of democratic centralism.”
Article 4 provides that
“all ethnic groups of the People’s Republic of China are equal……………………….. all ethnic groups shall have the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written language and to preserve or reform their own traditions and customs.”
The ideology of the Constitution promulgates the impartiality and equality of the people, Article 5 provides that
“no organization or individual shall have any privilege beyond the Constitution or the law.”
Full text of the Constitution may downloaded from npc.gov.cn website.
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