Progress achieved in all aspects of building law-based government

(en.moj.gov.cn)| Updated: 2020-04-01

The Ministry of Justice recently released its annual report on building a law-based government, stating that progress was made in all the aspects in 2019.

1. Strengthen the Party's leadership 

According to the report, during the past year, the leadership of the Party over the building of a law-based government was strengthened, and multiple steps in this regard were laid out, including organizing prominent legal scholars to interpret the essence of overall law-based governance in a new era, drafting and reviewing important legislations regulating shared government activities, concertedly pressing ahead with specific tasks, and striving to raise Party cadres' legal awareness and their ability to handle their work under the law.

The report reveals that the ministry held more than 50 training sessions on the project last year, lecturing over 8,000 cadres nationwide.

2. Improve the propelling mechanism 

It points out that the ministry improved the mechanism for propelling the building of a law-based government by taking the two key steps of conducting special inspections and selecting good examples.

For one thing, the ministry joined forces with 20 central government agencies to carry out on-site inspections in eight provinces last year, during which they openly or secretly visited a total of 408 grassroots law enforcement units, talked with or interviewed 2,040 individuals, reviewed 1,637 documents, and discovered 214 problems. 

Meanwhile, it launched a nationwide campaign to select exemplary local governments in advancing the project. A total of 1,847 prefecture and county-level governments signed up for the campaign which aims to select around 30 exemplary regions and about 20 exemplary units, according to the report.

3. Improve the legislation system for law-based administration

The ministry also continued to revamp the legislation system for law-based administration.

It drafted or reviewed 56 legislative items in 2019, including 17 laws and 39 administrative regulations.

Legislative work on key areas was also strengthened last year. With attention to the three critical battles against potential risks, poverty and pollution, the ministry completed its review of the law on solid waste treatment and regulation on foreign-funded banks. Eying high-quality economic development, it completed review of regulations on foreign investment, government investment and national awards for scientific and technological breakthroughs. For the sake of people's livelihoods, it finalized review of regulations on wage payments for migrant workers and food safety. The ministry also took a hard look at the draft code law and provisions regarding human genetic resources for the sake of national security. On top of that, it reviewed 13 international treaties and agreements last year.

The ministry did a thorough cleanup of existing laws and regulations. It promoted the revision of 49 administrative regulations on such critical reform tasks as government institutional reform, shifts in government functions as well as the work of streamlining administration, delegating more power to lower-level governments and improving services; meanwhile it promoted the revision of eight laws and four administrative regulations to create a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment; and it also promoted the revision of six administrative regulations to deepen the integration of the internet with administrative services.

4. Further standardize government activities

The report notes that the ministry further standardized government activities last year by improving the major decision-making process, rolling out national standards for administrative law enforcement, instituting a legality review mechanism for regulatory documents, improving the administrative adjudication system, and further cutting back on certification matters.

The ministry further reduced required certifications to make people's lives easier, repealing a total of over 13,000 such items across the country in 2019.

5. Improve the reconsideration of administrative decisions

To effectively promote law-based administration, the ministry strengthened reconsideration of administrative decisions, with judicial administrative authorities at all level concluding a total of 211,000 administrative reconsideration cases last year.

The ministry itself concluded 3,521 administrative reconsideration cases involving the State Council last year, 828 of which met the statutory requirements for case acceptance. It also concluded 322 administrative reconsideration cases involving government agencies at the same level with it and lost no administrative lawsuit last year.

Standing firm on the mindset of zero tolerance against unlawful administrative decisions, administrative reconsideration authorities at all levels corrected 16.04 percent of all the decisions being reconsidered with the correction ratio for decisions made by the State Council reaching 26 percent in 2019. They also issued 4,319 opinion letters in total last year, effectively reducing the number of lawsuits and enhancing law-based administration.

6. Enhance public legal services

To continue improving public legal services, the ministry reinforced its public legal service system which now includes over 41,000 physical public legal services platforms at four levels staffed with over 81,000 workers.

In addition, it beefed up its online and hotline platforms to broaden public access to legal services.

The ministry also made headway in building its mediation system in 2019. The report shows that public legal service workers across the country conducted dispute screening 4.06 million times and settled about 9.32 million disputes nationwide through mediation.

Lawyers played a key role in providing public legal services, with over 200,000 lawyers and grassroots legal service workers designated as legal counsels for villages and communities across the country. 

The ministry also improved its legal aid system by providing people in need with quality services and guarantee lawyers' rights.

In addition, it stepped up the institutional building of notarial services, forensic services and arbitration activities in an effort to tighten relevant regulations.

As for law popularization, the ministry adhered to the accountability system that requires law enforcement agencies to circulate legal information. It also set examples with respect to the promotion of rule of law in rural areas.

The ministry made efforts to enhance the role of judicial stations in advancing the building of a law-based government at the grassroots level.

According to the report, judicial stations nationwide assisted local governments in developing about 70,000 regulatory documents, raised 405,000 legal proposals, mediated 536,000 disputes among the public, and provided legal consultation for over 4.68 million people.

7. Strengthen the supervision over the administrative power

The ministry also voluntarily subjected itself to public supervision, responding to 29,883 comments in total from the public last year.

To improve transparency, the ministry published 19,240 articles on its official website last year, harvesting up to 1.68 billion views. It also posted over 12,000 articles on its Weibo and WeChat accounts and its app, attracting 1.83 million followers combined. In addition, the ministry held over 110 press conferences and media briefings, and received and handled 328 applications for information disclosure.