Organic Law of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China

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Organic Law of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China

(Adopted at the Fifth Session of the Fifth National People’s Congress and promulgated by the Announcement of the National People’s Congress on December 10, 1982; amended in accordance with the Decision of the National People’s Congress on Revising the Organic Law of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China adopted at the Fourth Session of the Thirteenth National People’s Congress on March 11, 2021)

Contents

Chapter I General Provisions

Chapter II Sessions of the National People’s Congress

Chapter III The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Chapter IV The Committees of the National People’s Congress

Chapter V Deputies to the National People’s Congress

Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1 This Law is formulated according to the Constitution for the purpose of improving the institutions of organization and work of the National People’s Congress and the Standing Committee thereof, protecting and regulating their exercise of functions and powers, adhering to and improving the system of people’s congresses, and ensuring the people’s position as the masters of the country.

Article 2 The National People’s Congress is the highest organ of state power, and its permanent body is the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Article 3 The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee uphold the leadership of the Communist Party of China while adhering to the guiding principles of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents, the Scientific Outlook on Development, and the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a new era, and exercise their functions and powers in accordance with the Constitution and laws.

Article 4 The National People’s Congress, constituted through democratic elections, is responsible to the people and subject to their supervision.

The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee stick to whole-process democracy and maintain close ties with the people by heeding people’s comments and suggestions, reflecting people’s will, and safeguarding people’s rights and interests.

Article 5 The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee exercise the legislative power of the state, make decisions upon major issues, supervise the implementation of the Constitution and laws, and safeguards the unity, dignity and authority of the socialist system of laws, in a bid to build a socialist country under the rule of law.

Article 6 The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee adopt the principle of democratic centralism, whereby democracy is given full play to, and functions and powers are exercised collectively.

Article 7 The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee are in active contact with the world through strengthened exchange and cooperation with foreign parliaments as well as international and regional parliamentary organizations.

Chapter II

Sessions of the National People’s Congress

Article 8 The National People’s Congress is elected for a term of five years.

The National People’s Congress shall meet in session once a year and the session shall be convened by its Standing Committee. Additional sessions of the National People’s Congress may be convened at any time the Standing Committee deems necessary or when no fewer than one-fifth of the deputies to the National People’s Congress so propose.

Article 9 After deputies to the National People’s Congress have been elected, their credentials shall be examined by the Credentials Committee of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Based on the reports submitted by the Credentials Committee, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress shall affirm the qualifications of deputies or invalidate the election of individual deputies, and shall publish the list of affirmed deputies prior to the first session of each National People’s Congress.

Deputies to the National People’s Congress who are elected through by-elections shall have their credentials examined in accordance with the provisions of the preceding paragraphs.

Article 10 Deputies to the National People’s Congress shall be grouped into delegations based on the units that elect them. Each delegation shall elect a head and deputy-heads.

Before each session of the National People’s Congress is convened, the delegations shall discuss matters concerning preparations for the session put forward by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. During the session, the delegations shall deliberate on the bills and proposals submitted to the National People’s Congress, and the heads of delegations or representatives chosen by them may express, on behalf of those delegations, opinions on the bills and proposals at meetings of the Presidium or at plenary meetings of the session.

Article 11 Before each session of the National People’s Congress, a preparatory meeting shall be held to elect a Presidium and a Secretary-General for the session, adopt an agenda for that session and make decisions on other preparatory work.

The draft list of the members of the Presidium and the Secretary-General shall be proposed by the Council of Chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and reviewed and adopted in the meeting of the Standing Committee before submitted to the preparatory meeting.

Article 12 The Presidium shall preside over the sessions of the National People’s Congress.

Standing chairpersons shall be elected by the Presidium to convene and preside over meetings of the Presidium.

The Presidium shall elect some of the members thereof to serve respectively as the executive chairpersons of the plenary meetings of each session, and shall appoint one of the elected executive chairpersons to preside over the plenary meetings.

Article 13 For each session, the National People’s Congress shall set up a Secretariat consisting of one Secretary-General and several Deputy Secretaries-General, and the choice of the latter shall be made by the Presidium.

Under the direction of the Secretary-General, the Secretariat shall handle the assignments given by the presidium and handle the routine work of the session, in which the Deputy Secretaries-General shall provide assistance for the Secretary General.

Article 14 The Presidium shall handle the following work:

(1) determining the schedule of each session according to its agenda;

(2) determining the deadline for deputies to put forward bills and proposals during the session;

(3) listening to and examining reports on the opinions about handling bills and proposals, and deciding whether the bills and proposals put forward in session should be put on the agenda;

(4) listening to and reviewing reports of the Secretariat and the relevant special committees on examination and deliberation of the bills, proposals and reports, and deciding whether or not to submit those bills, proposals, draft decisions and draft resolutions to the session for votes;

(5) listening to the explanation of the standing chairperson of the Presidium on the list of candidates for positions in state institutions, nominating the component members of state institutions to be elected in session, and determining the formal list of candidates according to the statutory procedure;

(6) proposing the draft measures for election and decision on appointments for the session;

(7) organizing public pledge of allegiance to the Constitution by the component members of state institutions who are elected in session or appointed through decisions in session;

(8) other matters that are supposed to be handled by the Presidium.

Article 15 The standing chairperson of the Presidium listens to reports of the Secretariat and relevant special committees on matters that should be submitted to the Presidium for deliberation, and then provides suggestions for the Presidium.

The standing chairperson of the Presidium may make necessary adjustments to the schedule of a session.

Article 16 The Presidium, the Standing Committee, and the Special Committees of the National People’s Congress, as well as the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate may present bills and proposals to the National People’s Congress that fall within the scope of the latter’s functions and powers.

Article 17 A delegation or a group of thirty or more deputies may present bills and proposals to the National People’s Congress that fall within the scope of the latter’s functions and powers.

Article 18 The Presidium determines the formal list of candidates for the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons, Secretary-General and other members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, the Chairperson of the Central Military Commission, the Chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision, the President of the Supreme People’s Court and the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate based on the opinions of the majority of deputies after the foregoing candidates are nominated by the Presidium and after consultation among various delegations.

Article 19 The Premier and other members of the State Council and members of the Central Military Commission other than its Chairperson shall be nominated in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution.

Article 20 The Presidium, three or more delegations, or one tenth or more deputies of the National People’s Congress may bring forward proposals to remove from office members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, the President and the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China, members of the State Council and the Central Military Commission, the Chairperson of the National Commission of Supervision, the President of the Supreme People’s Court and the Procurator-General of the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, and the said proposals shall be submitted by the Presidium to the National People’s Congress for deliberation.

Article 21 While the National People’s Congress is in session, a delegation or a group of thirty or more deputies may submit written inquiries to the State Council and the departments thereof, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Chapter III

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress

Article 22 The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress is responsible to and reports its work to the National People’s Congress.

Terms of the Standing Committee are aligned with terms of the National People’s Congress. The Standing Committee shall exercise its functions and powers until a new Standing Committee is elected by the succeeding National People’s Congress.

Article 23 The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress shall be composed of the following personnel:

the Chairperson;

the Vice-Chairpersons;

the Secretary-General; and

other members.

Members of the Standing Committee shall be elected by the National People’s Congress from among its deputies.

Members of the Standing Committee shall not hold office in administrative, supervisory, judicial, or procuratorial organs of the state. Where they do serve in the said organs, they shall resign from their positions in the Standing Committee.

Article 24 The Chairperson of the Standing Committee shall preside over meetings of the Standing Committee and direct its work. The Vice-Chairpersons and the Secretary-General shall assist the Chairperson in his work. When entrusted by the Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson may exercise certain functions and powers of the Chairperson.

Should the Chairperson of the Standing Committee be incapacitated for work for reasons of health or should his office fall vacant, the Standing Committee shall choose one of the Vice-Chairpersons to exercise the functions of the Chairperson until the Chairperson’s recovery or until a new Chairperson is elected by the National People’s Congress.

Article 25 A Council of Chairpersons composed of the Standing Committee’s Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and Secretary-General shall handle the important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee, which shall consist of the following:

(1) to decide on the duration for each meeting of the Standing Committee, draft the agenda of the meeting, and propose suggestions on adjusting the agenda when necessary;

(2) to decide whether the bills, proposals and written inquiries submitted to the Standing Committee should be referred to the relevant special committees or submitted to a general meeting of the Standing Committee for deliberation;

(3) to decide whether or not to refer bills, proposals, draft decisions, and draft resolutions to a plenary meeting of the Standing Committee for votes, and put forward opinions on subsequent handling of those yet to be referred;

(4) to adopt annual work outlines, legislative plans, oversight plans, deputies work plans, plans for special tasks, documents of work disciplines and rules, etc. of the Standing Committee;

(5) to direct and coordinate the day-to-day work of the special committees; and

(6) to handle other important day-to-day work of the Standing Committee.

Article 26 The Standing Committee shall establish a Credentials Committee.

Candidates for the Chairperson, Vice-Chairpersons and members of the Credentials Committee shall be nominated by the Council of Chairpersons from among members of the Standing Committee, and appointed and removed from office by the Standing Committee.

Article 27 The Standing Committee shall establish a general office which shall work under the direction of the Secretary-General.

The Standing Committee shall install Deputy Secretaries-General, whom it shall appoint or remove upon recommendation by the Chairperson of the Standing Committee.

Article 28 The Standing Committee establishes working bodies as needed, such as the Legislative Affairs Commission and the Budgetary Affairs Commission.

The chairperson, vice-chairpersons and members of the working bodies shall be appointed or removed by the Standing Committee upon recommendation by its Chairperson.

The establishment, duties, as well as the appointment and removal from office of the members of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee and the Macao Special Administrative Region Basic Law Committee shall be in accordance with relevant laws and relevant decisions of the National People’s Congress.

Article 29 The Council of Chairpersons, a special committee of the National People’s Congress, the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People’s Court, the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, or a group of ten or more members of the Standing Committee may present bills and proposals to the Standing Committee that fall within the scope of the latter’s functions and powers.

Article 30 While the Standing Committee meets in session, a group of ten or more members of the Standing Committee may submit to the Standing Committee written inquiries addressed to the State Council and departments thereof, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme People’s Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate.

Article 31 While the National People’s Congress is out of session, the Standing Committee may, based on the nomination of the Premier of the State Council, decide to appoint or remove from office other members of the State Council; it may also, according to the nomination of the Chairperson of the Central Military Commission, decide to appoint or remove from office other members of the Central Military Commission.

Article 32 While the National People’s Congress is out of session, the Standing Committee may, upon recommendation of the Council of Chairpersons or the Premier of the State Council, decide to dismiss some other members of the State Council from their posts, and may, according to the recommendation of the Chairperson of the Central Military Commission, decide to dismiss some other members of the Central Military Commission from their posts.

Article 33 During each session of the National People’s Congress, the Standing Committee must make a report on its work to the National People’s Congress.

Chapter III

The Committees of the National People’s Congress

Article 34 The National People’s Congress establishes special committees that it deems necessary, including the Ethnic Affairs Committee, the Constitution and Law Committee, the Supervisory and Judicial Affairs Committee, the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee, the Education, Science, Culture and Public Health Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, the Environmental Protection and Resources Conservation Committee, the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and the Social Development Affairs Committee. Those special committees are led by the National People’s Congress while the National People’s Congress is in session, and by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress while the National People’s Congress is out of session.

Each special committee shall be composed of a chairperson, vice-chairpersons and members.

The candidates for the chairpersons, vice-chairpersons and members of the special committees are generated by votes in a session of the National People’s Congress after nominated by the Presidium from among the deputies. While the National People’s Congress is out of session, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress may appoint or remove from office vice-chairpersons and members of the special committees after nomination by the Council of Chairpersons and votes at the meetings of the Standing Committee.

Article 35 Terms of the special committees are aligned with terms of the National People’s Congress. The special committees shall perform their duties until their members for new term are elected by the succeeding National People’s Congress.

Article 36 The chairperson of each special committee shall preside over meetings of the committee and direct its work. The vice-chairpersons shall assist the chairperson in his work.

The special committees may appoint a certain number of experts as advisers, if their work so requires. The advisers may attend special committee meetings and express their opinions.

The advisers shall be appointed or removed by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Article 37 The work of the special committees shall be as follows:

(1) to deliberate on bills and proposals received from the Presidium or the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress;

(2) to submit to the Presidium or the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress bills and proposals which are relevant to the work of the special committees and which fall within the scope of functions and powers of the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee, and to organize the drafting of laws and proposals;

(3) to undertake the specific work of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in listening to and examining reports on special tasks;

(4) to organize and undertake the specific work of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in inspecting the implementation of laws;

(5) to undertake the specific work of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress in questioning about specific issues;

(6) to listen to reports of the State Council, the National Commission of Supervision, the Supreme Peoples Court, and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on specific issues, and then bring forward suggestions, in accordance with the work arrangements of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress;

(7) to investigate and propose solutions to issues which are related to the special committees and which fall within the scope of functions and powers of the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee;

(8) to examine and offer comments on documents referred by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress which are considered to be in contravention of the Constitution or laws, namely: administrative regulations, decisions and orders issued by the State Council; orders, directives and rules issued by departments of the State Council; supervision regulations issued by the National Commission of Supervision; local regulations, decisions and resolutions issued by the people’s congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities divided into districts, and autonomous prefectures, as well as by the standing committees of the said congresses; decisions, orders and rules issued by the people’s governments of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities directly under the Central Government, cities divided into districts, and autonomous prefectures; autonomous regulations and separate regulations issued by ethnic autonomous areas; regulations for special economic zones; and interpretations of the Supreme People’s Court and the Supreme People’s Procuratorate on application of laws;

(9) to examine written inquiries referred by the Presidium or the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, to hear the replies given by the organs inquired and, when necessary, to submit reports to the Presidium or the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress;

(10) to study and handle suggestions, criticisms, and opinions of the deputies, and to be responsible for supervising and urging such handling;

(11) to engage in the work of foreign exchange and communication in keeping with arrangements of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress;

(12) to undertake other work assigned by the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee.

Article 38 The Ethnic Affairs Committee may investigate and study issues related to strengthening unity among all ethnic groups and bring suggestions thereon; and shall review the autonomous regulations and separate regulations submitted by the autonomous regions to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for approval and submit a report to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

Article 39 The Constitution and Law Committee undertakes duties including implementation of the Constitution, interpretation of the Constitution, constitutionality review, constitutional supervision, and cooperation in the publicity of the Constitution.

The Constitution and Law Committee deliberates on all draft laws and draft decisions on laws submitted to the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee. Other special committees submit to the Constitution and Law Committee their comments on the drafts which concern their work.

Article 40 The Financial and Economic Affairs Committee reviews draft plans for national economic and social development, draft outlines of five-year plans, central and local draft budges, drafts of central final accounts, as well as relevant reports and adjusted plans, and the Committee brings forward preliminary review comments and reports on the results of the reviews thereafter. Other special committees may submit to the Financial and Economic Affairs Committee their comments on the drafts which concern them.

Article 41 The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee may appoint committees for the investigation of specific issues. The organization and work of the committees shall be decided by the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee.

Chapter IV 

Deputies to the National People’s Congress

Article 42 The term of office of the deputies to each National People’s Congress shall be five years, beginning with its first session and ending with the first session of the succeeding National People’s Congress.

Article 43 Deputies to the National People’s Congress must observe the Constitution and the law in an exemplary way, keep state secrets and, in the course of production, other work and the public activities in which they take part, assist in the enforcement of the Constitution and the law.

Article 44 Deputies to the National People’s Congress shall maintain close contact with the units that elected them and with the people. They may attend, without voting rights, meetings of the people’s congresses of the units that elected them, so as to heed and convey the opinions and demands of the people through various methods, work hard to serve the people, and play their roles in whole-process democracy.

Article 45 The Standing Committee, special committees, and working bodies of the National People’s Congress shall keep in close contact with deputies by heeding their opinions and suggestions, supporting their performance of duties in accordance with the law, expanding their participation in various aspects of work, and giving full play to their representation.

The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress establishes and improves a mechanism for members of the Standing Committee, special committees, as well as working bodies to keep in contact with deputies.

The working and administrative bodies of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress support deputies in performing their duties by providing services.

Article 46 Suggestions, criticisms and opinions put forward by deputies to the National People’s Congress for the National People’s Congress or its Standing Committee shall be referred by the working and administrative bodies of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to the relevant organs or organizations for study, handling and answers.

The relevant organs or organizations shall communicate with the deputies to the National People’s Congress and fully heed their ideas about the suggestions, criticisms and opinions that they put forward, explain to them the situation thereabout, earnestly study and handle those suggestions, criticisms and opinions, and give responses thereto in a timely manner.

The relevant special committees of the National People’s Congress and the working and administrative bodies of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress shall step up their efforts to supervise, urge and inspect the handling of the said suggestions, criticisms and opinions. The working and administrative bodies of the Standing Committee shall report to the Standing Committee on and make public the handling of the suggestions, criticisms and opinions on a yearly basis.

Article 47 While deputies to the National People’s Congress attend meetings of the Congress or perform other duties required of them as deputies, the state shall provide them with appropriate allowances and material facilities according to their actual needs.

Article 48 No deputy to the National People’s Congress or member of its Standing Committee may be held legally liable for his speeches or votes at various meetings of the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee.

Article 49 No deputy to the National People’s Congress may be arrested or placed on criminal trial without the consent of the Presidium of the National People’s Congress or, when the National People’s Congress is not in session, of its Standing Committee.

If a deputy to the National People’s Congress is caught in the act and detained, the public security organ which has detained him shall immediately report the matter to the Presidium or the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress.

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