Rules of Procedure for the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China

Rules of Procedure for the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China

(Adopted at the 23rd Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Sixth National People's Congress on November 24, 1987, revised pursuant to the Decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Revising the Rules of Procedure for the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China at the 8th Meeting of the Standing Committee of the Eleventh National People's Congress on April 24, 2009)

Contents

Chapter I General Provisions

Chapter II Convening of Meetings

Chapter III Submission of and Deliberation on Bills and Proposals

Chapter IV Hearing and Examining Work Reports

Chapter V Inquiries and Addressing of Questions

Chapter VI Speaking and Voting

Chapter VII Supplementary Provisions

Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1 These Rules are formulated in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the Organic Law of the National People's Congress and in the light of the practical experience of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress.

Article 2 In deliberating on bills and proposals and making decisions, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress shall give full play to democracy and apply the principle of democratic centralism.

Chapter II

Convening of Meetings

Article 3 The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress shall meet in session once every other month; an interim session may be convened when it is specially needed.

Meetings of the Standing Committee shall be convened and presided over by its Chairman. The Chairman may entrust any of the Vice-Chairmen to preside over a meeting on his behalf.

Article 4 Meetings of the Standing Committee may not be held unless more than half of the component members are present. Article 5 The Council of Chairmen shall draft the agenda for a meeting of the Standing Committee and refer it to a plenary meeting of the Standing Committee for decision.

During a session of the Standing Committee, the Council of Chairmen may propose an adjustment to the agenda if necessary. Such adjustment shall be subject to the approval of a plenary meeting of the Standing Committee.

Article 6 When the Standing Committee is to hold a meeting, its members and non-voting participants shall be notified, seven days in advance, of the date of the meeting and of the main items proposed for discussion. Where an interim meeting is to be convened, they may be notified within a shorter period of time.

Article 7 When the Standing Committee holds a meeting, leading members of the State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate shall attend the meeting as non-voting participants. With respect to the chairmen, vice-chairmen and members of all the special committees of the National People's Congress, the deputy secretaries-general of the Standing Committee and the chairmen and vice-chairmen of the working commissions of the Standing Committee, and leading members of the relevant departments, such persons shall attend the meeting as non-voting participants if they are not the component members of the Standing Committee.

Article 8 When the Standing Committee holds a meeting, the chairman or one of the vice-chairmen of the people's congress of each province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government shall attend the meeting as a non-voting participant, and the relevant deputies to the National People's Congress may be invited to the meeting as non-voting participants.

Article 9 When the Standing Committee is in session, it shall hold plenary meetings, group meetings and joint group meetings.

The Council of Chairmen shall determine several conveners of group meetings of the Standing Committee to preside over such meetings in turn. The office of the Standing Committee shall draft and prepare the list of names of each group, and submit the same to the Secretary-General for examination and approval. Such list shall be adjusted on a regular basis.

The Chairman of the Standing Committee shall preside over joint group meetings held by the Standing Committee. The Chairman may entrust any of the vice-chairmen to preside over such meetings on his behalf.

Article 10 When the Standing Committee holds a meeting, its component members shall attend the meeting, except for those who ask to be excused on account of poor health or for other special reasons.

Chapter III

Submission of and Deliberation on Bills and Proposals

Article 11 The Council of Chairmen may submit to the Standing Committee for deliberation at its meetings bills and proposals that are within the scope of the functions and powers of the Standing Committee.

The State Council, the Central Military Commission, the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the special committees of the National People's Congress may submit to the Standing Committee bills and proposals that are within the scope of functions and powers of the Standing Committee. The Council of Chairmen shall decide whether to refer them to the Standing Committee for deliberation at the meetings of the Standing Committee or to refer them to the relevant special committees for deliberation and submission of reports thereon before deciding whether to refer them to the Standing Committee for deliberation at its meetings.

Bills and proposals that are within the scope of the functions and powers of the Standing Committee may be submitted to it by 10 or more of its component members. The Council of Chairmen shall decide whether to refer them to the Standing Committee for deliberation at its meetings or to refer them to the relevant special committees for deliberation and submission of reports thereon before deciding whether to refer them to the Standing Committee for deliberation at its meetings. Bills and proposals that are not to be referred to the Standing Committee for deliberation shall be reported to the Standing Committee at its meetings, or explanations shall be made to the sponsors.

Article 12 The Council of Chairmen may, according to the needs of the work, entrust the working commissions or the General Office of the Standing Committee to draft bills and proposals, and to make explanations to the Standing Committee at its meetings.

Article 13 With regard to the bills and proposals that have been placed on the agenda of a session of the Standing Committee, the sponsor organs, the special committees and the working bodies of the Standing Committee concerned shall provide relevant information.

Proposals regarding appointment or removal shall be attached with the basic information of the persons to be appointed or removed as well as the reasons for appointment or removal; if necessary, relevant responsible persons shall attend the meetings and answer inquiries.

Article 14 The Standing Committee shall hold plenary meetings to hear explanations about the bills and proposals.

After that, the bills and proposals shall be deliberated on at group meetings and also by the special committees concerned.

Article 15 With respect to the draft laws placed on the agenda of a session, after hearing the explanations and making preliminary deliberations, the Standing Committee shall refer them to the relevant special committees for deliberation and to the Law Committee for overall deliberation. The Law Committee shall submit a report on the results of deliberation to the next session or a later session of the Standing Committee and the Standing Committee shall print the deliberation reports prepared by other relevant special committees and distribute them at a meeting of the Standing Committee.

After deliberating on the bills and proposals involving decisions on relevant legal issues or amendments to laws, the Law Committee may submit a report on the results of deliberation to the current session or to the next session or a later session of the Standing Committee.

Article 16 Proposals submitted for approval of final accounts and adjustment of budgets shall be deliberated by the Financial and Economic Committee, and they may be concurrently referred to other relevant special committees for deliberation. The Financial and Economic Committee shall present the reports on the results of deliberations to the meeting of the Standing Committee.

Bills and proposals submitted for the approval of treaties and agreements shall be deliberated by the Foreign Affairs Committee, and they may be concurrently referred to other relevant special committees for deliberation. The Foreign Affairs Committee shall present the reports on the results of deliberations to the meeting of the Standing Committee.

Article 17 A joint group meeting of the Standing Committee may hear and deliberate on the special committees' reports on their deliberations on bills and proposals and discuss the items on the agenda of the session.

Article 18 Leading members of organs sponsoring the bills or proposals may make supplementary explanations about them at plenary meetings or joint group meetings of the Standing Committee.

Article 19 Deliberations on a bill or proposal already placed on the agenda of a session of the Standing Committee may be cancelled upon approval by the Council of Chairmen at the request made by the sponsor for its withdrawal before it is put to vote.

Article 20 If important issues requiring further study are raised during deliberations on a bill or proposal which is to be submitted to a plenary meeting of the Standing Committee for vote, decision on the bill or proposal by vote may be postponed, upon a proposal by the Chairman of the Standing Committee or the Council of Chairmen and an approval by a joint group meeting or a plenary meeting, until further deliberations are made and reports on the results are provided by special committees.

Article 21 The Standing Committee may, when it deems it necessary, organize investigation committees on particular issues and make decisions in the light of the reports prepared by the investigation committees.

Chapter IV

Hearing and Examining Work Reports

Article 22 The Standing Committee shall hear the special work reports made to it by the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, reports on national economic and social development plans and budget implementation, reports on final accounts and on audit work, reports on inspection of law enforcement presented to it by the law-enforcement inspection team of the Standing Committee, and other reports.

Article 23 After hearing the work reports at the plenary meetings, members of the Standing Committee may examine them at group meetings or joint group meetings. The Council of Chairmen may decide to refer such work reports to relevant special committees for deliberation and comments.

Article 24 The Standing Committee may, when it deems it necessary, adopt resolutions on the work reports.

Chapter V

Inquiries and Addressing of Questions

Article 25 When members of the Standing Committee are going to deliberate on bills or proposals or work reports at group meetings, the departments concerned shall be notified to send people to attend the meetings to listen to comments and answer questions.

When members of the Standing Committee are going to deliberate on bills or proposals or work reports at joint group meetings, leading members of the departments concerned shall be notified to attend the meetings to listen to comments and answer questions.

Article 26 During a session of the Standing Committee, ten or more members of the Standing Committee may jointly submit to the Standing Committee a written proposal for addressing questions to the State Council, the ministries under the State Council, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate.

Article 27 In the proposals for the addressing of questions, the objects to be questioned and the topics and contents to be questioned about must be clearly stated.

Article 28 The Council of Chairmen shall decide to refer the proposals for the addressing of questions to the relevant special committees for deliberation or to submit them to a session of the Standing Committee for deliberation.

Article 29 With respect to proposals for the addressing of questions, the Council of Chairmen shall decide whether leading persons of the organs questioned shall give oral replies at a session of the Standing Committee or at meetings of the relevant special committees, or the organs questioned shall make written replies. For questions answered at meetings of the relevant special committees, these special committees shall submit a report to the Standing Committee or the Council of Chairmen.

Written replies to the questions addressed shall be signed by leading persons of the organs questioned, then printed and distributed to members of the Standing Committee and to the relevant special committees. When the special committees concerned deliberate on proposals for the addressing of questions, the Standing Committee members who raised such proposals may attend the meetings to express their opinions.

Chapter VI

Speaking and Voting

Article 30 Speeches at a plenary meeting, group meeting or joint group meeting of the Standing Committee shall focus on the items on the agenda.

When a plenary meeting or joint group meeting of the Standing Committee arranges for the deliberations of relevant items on the agenda, a member of the Standing Committee who intends to deliver a speech at the meeting shall make an application to the office of the Standing Committee before the meeting is held. The person presiding over the meeting shall make proper arrangements for speakers to deliver speeches in turn. An impromptu speech at a plenary meeting or joint group meeting shall be subject to approval by the presiding person. A speech at a group meeting shall be subject to approval by the presiding person.

The relevant provisions of this Chapter shall be applicable to any speech given by a person who attends as a non-voting participant.

Article 31 Any speech at a plenary meeting shall not exceed ten minutes; as for a speech at a joint group meeting or group meeting, the speech made for the first time shall not exceed 15 minutes, and the speech made for the second time on the same topic shall not exceed ten minutes. A speech may be longer if such a request is put forward in advance and is approved by the person presiding over the meeting.

Any speech made at a meeting of the Standing Committee shall be recorded by the staff of the office of the Standing Committee. The transcripts of such speeches shall, after being checked and signed by the relevant speakers, be compiled and printed as a brief report and be archived.

Article 32 Bills and proposals shall be adopted if they are voted for by a simple majority of all the members of the Standing Committee.

The person who presides over the meeting shall announce the result of the vote on the spot.

Article 33 If amendments are proposed to the bills and proposals to be put to vote, such amendments shall be voted on first.

Article 34 Proposals regarding appointments or removals shall be voted on person by person or may, in the light of specific circumstances, be voted on together.

Article 35 The voting on bills and proposals shall be conducted at sessions of the Standing Committee by secret ballot, a show of hands or other methods.

Chapter VII

Supplementary Provisions

Article 36 These Rules shall go into effect as of the date of their promulgation.

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