Fully implementing the country's Constitution and laws is essential to advancing the rule of law, a senior official said on Friday.
"The rule of law is the backbone of the country's governance system, and the Fourth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has placed the adherence to, and improvement of, the socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics in a very important position," said Yuan Shuhong, vice-minister of justice.
The meeting has called for better enforcement and explanation of the Constitution and ensuring laws and regulations are in line with the Constitution, he said at a news conference.
Many key measures were also decided at the session to ensure laws are being fully carried out, Yuan said.
"The meeting has stressed that interference in law enforcement is strictly prohibited, as are any hidden rules in judicial activities," he said, adding that bending the law due to graft or personal relations is never allowed.
The scope of public-interest litigation will be expanded, particularly in environmental protection, food and drug safety, safeguarding State assets and the protection of the legitimate rights of the country's heroes and martyrs, Yuan said.
Serious violations of the law, particularly with malicious intentions or resulting in severe consequences, will be given harsher penalties and even punitive fines, he said.
The meeting also called for more public education on laws to raise legal awareness and improved legal services for the people, such as arbitration, mediation, notarization and legal assistance, according to Yuan.
Officials at all levels must take a leading role in respecting, learning and following the law and become more capable of carrying out reforms and resolving conflicts with legal thinking, he said.
Jiang Jinquan, deputy director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, said the just concluded key Party meeting also discussed how to improve the national supervision system to ensure clean governance.
"Restricting and supervising the exercise of public power to prevent its being abused is a common issue in the world and a key part of a country's governance system," he said at the news conference.
The session called for a more comprehensive supervision system for both the Party and the State, a sound mechanism for power allocation and restriction, and the development of a mechanism that ensures officials "dare not", "cannot" and "would not" turn corrupt, Jiang said.