A few years ago, I posted a series of Chinese legal research guides on this blog: Who Makes What?, Administrative Regulations and Departmental Rules, and Official Publication of Chinese Law. The first two posts discussed the various types of documents that have the force of law under the Chinese Law on Legislation: laws made by the National People’s Congress (NPC) and its standing committee; administrative regulations made by the State Council; and departmental rules made by the ministries and commissions under the State Council. The third post introduced the official publications of the laws, regulations, and rules, and provided links to the official Chinese gazettes and statutory compilations collected by the Library of Congress.
A notable change since then is that two websites have been added to the Law on Legislation amended in 2015 to officially publish Chinese law: the NPC website for laws and the Chinese Government Legal Information Network for regulations and rules.
1. NPC Website
Once passed, laws adopted by the NPC and its standing committee are to be published on its official website, in addition to the gazette and nationally culated newspapers, provided by article 58 of the Law on Legislation.
Local regulations made by local people’s congresses must also be published on the NPC website, as well in the local people’s congresses’ gazettes and on their official websites, and in newspapers circulated within the regions (Law on Legislation, art. 79).
2. Chinese Government Legal Information Network
The Law on Legislation designates this website to publish the following regulations and rules:
- Administrative regulations made by the State Council (id. art. 71);
- Departmental rules made by the ministries and commissions under the State Council (id. art. 86); and
- Administrative rules made by the local governments (id.).
The Chinese Government Legal Information Network has another notable feature: it publishes drafts of administrative regulations and departmental rules before they are formally promulgated in order to solicit public comments. The Law on Legislation requires draft regulations to be published, except for those which the State Council decides not to publish (art. 67). Draft rules are also required to be published by the State Council Regulations on the Procedures for the Formulation of Rules, which recently entered into force on May 1, 2018 (art. 15).