2022: Communist Party Leadership of the PRC Legislative Process

In March 2022 this article appeared on the website of the PRC National People’s Congress which is the leading organ for making and interpreting national legislation. So one might imagine that it is authoritative. Professor Zhang Xuebo’s article “Observations on the History of Rule by Document 1982-2017” explains the complex relationship between the Party’s rule by Party-issued documents and rule through legislation enacted by the National People’s Congress.

Several other translations among the 90-odd translations listed in the PRC law category on this blog:

Website of the PRC National People’s Congress

History and experience of Chinese Communist Party Leadership of the Legislative Process

党领导立法的历史与经验

By Feng Yujun, Director of Xi Jinping Research Center of Rule of Law Thought, Renmin University of China   作者:中国人民大学习近平法治思想研究中心主任 冯玉军

Source: China National People’s Congress Website March 16, 2022 

The leadership of the Communist Party of China  (CPC) is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which is a summary of the Party’s historical experience in leading the Chinese people in revolution, construction and reform, and has been formally enshrined in the second paragraph of Article 1 of the General Outline of the Constitution. The historical experience of China’s contruction of the rule of law shows that the great cause of comprehensively promoting the rule by law is inseparable from the strong leadership of the Party, and the Party’s overall leadership is the fundamental political guarantee to ensure the success of this cause.

Legislative work is related to the overall development of the party and the state; adhering to the party’s overall leadership of the legislative work is particularly critical. It still has a long way to go to improve the quality of legislation, to innovate the legislative system and mechanism, to improve the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, to play the leading and promoting role of legislation, to promote the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, and to provide strong rule of law guarantee for the comprehensive construction of a modern socialist state. To this end, we need to review the historical process of Party-led legislation since the founding of New China, explore how to better realize the organic unity of Party leadership, the people’s sovereignty and the rule of law in legislation, summarize the historical experience and practical ways of Party-led legislation, so as to improve the Party’s overall leadership of legislation and better build a socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics.

  1.  Historical Review of Party Leadership of Legislation

Since the founding of New China, the Communist Party of China, as the ruling party, began to lead the legal construction of the country, and the Party’s leadership of the legislative work is the primary and key link of the legal construction. According to the different issues of the times faced by the Party and the country, as well as the changes in the Party’s strategic decisions and the way of governance, the history of Party-led legislation in the past 70 years since the founding of the country can be divided into four stages, with the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Party as the dividing point.

  1. The initial stage of legislation (1949-1956)

When the People’s Liberation War led by the Party was about to be won and the Party was about to become the ruling party nationwide, the Party Central Committee answered the question of whether to continue to use the old legal system of the Nationalist Government or to break the old one and establish a new one from the perspective of the fundamental nature of the state power to be established. The Common Program, which was adopted by the First Plenary Session of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) on September 29, 1949, was a provisional constitution, establishing the system of people’s congresses as the organizational form of power in China and laying a solid political and legal foundation for the new regime. After the founding of New China, the Marriage Law (1950), the Land Reform Law (1951), the Regulations on Punishing Counterrevolution (1951), the Regulations on Punishing Corruption (1952) and other laws and regulations were enacted successively under the leadership of the Party. These embodiments by the Center of a series of policies of the Party in the early years of the founding of the PRC were the translation of the Party’s policies into law.  As Dong Biwu said. “The laws and orders promulgated by the Central People’s Government were all Party ideas, and many important manuscripts were first prepared by the Party in a preliminary draft (which was not available without the Party’s preparation and consideration), then discussed by the National Committee of the CPPCC or its Standing Committee, and then referred to the Committee of the Central People’s Government or the Council of State for discussion and adoption.”

The Constitution is the fundamental law of the country and has the highest legal effect; therefore, the Party’s leadership in legislation is first reflected in the Party’s leadership in formulating the Constitution. When China’s first constitution, the May Fourth Constitution, was drafted, the Party Central Committee appointed a constitution drafting group internally, which took more than two months to complete under the direct leadership of Comrade Mao Zedong. The description of the first draft clearly stated, “The contents of the draft constitution were written in accordance with the instructions of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Chairman Mao.” The Constitution Drafting Committee held nine meetings to discuss the draft Constitution, and extensively solicited the opinions and suggestions of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, democratic parties, people’s organizations, and representatives of central and local state organs and various sectors of society, as well as more than 1.1 million opinions and suggestions for revision nationwide. The draft Constitution was finally considered and adopted unanimously by the First Session of the First National People’s Congress in 1954, becoming China’s It became the first socialist constitution of China. The entire process of constitution-making widely solicited and adopted the opinions and suggestions of all political parties, fully practiced the whole process of people’s democracy, and made the constitution finally adopted a milestone in the Party’s leadership of China’s rule of law construction, laying a solid constitutional foundation for the Party’s leadership of legislative development.

According to the legislative system and institution established by the May Fourth Constitution, from 1954 to the end of 1957, the National People’s Congress, the State Council and its ministries and commissions promulgated 731 important laws and regulations, ushering in the first peak of laws and regulations enacted since the founding of New China. In addition, the drafting of basic laws such as the criminal law, civil law, and procedural law also began to be fully rolled out under the leadership of the Party. The Party’s policy ideas were concretely reflected in various legal departments, which strongly promoted the construction of socialist legal system under the Party’s leadership and safeguarded and promoted the smooth development of socialist economic construction and socialist transformation at that time.

  1.  Arduous exploration and Tortuous Development of the Legislative Process (1957-1976)

After the Eighth Party Congress, Comrade Mao Zedong made a completely wrong estimation of the class situation and the political situation of the Party and the country, and then launched and led the “Cultural Revolution”. The Party and the government at all levels, the people’s congresses and the CPPCC at all levels were paralyzed and abnormal for a long time, and dictatorial organs such as the public prosecutor and the law, andorgans for maintaining social order, were disrupted. In this historical period of exploration, although it experienced serious twists and turns, some important laws and regulations were still formulated and implemented under the leadership of the Party, such as the Regulations on Household Registration (1958) and the Regulations on Agricultural Taxes (1958). In March 1963 Comrade Mao Zedong clearly stated that “not only the criminal law but also the civil law needs to be developed. Now there is lawlessness. Without laws, criminal law and civil law must be developed, not only to enact laws, but also to compile cases.”

  1.  The Legislative Recovery and Development Stage (1978-2011)

The Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee held at the end of 1978 began to reflect on the political line of “Taking the Class Struggle as the Main Task” [ 以阶级斗争为纲] political line and the post Cultural Revolution  “Two Whatevers” policy [“We will resolutely uphold whatever policy decisions Chairman Mao made, and unswervingly follow whatever instructions Chairman Mao gave” (凡是毛主席作出的决策,我们都坚决维护;凡是毛主席的指示,我们都始终不渝地遵循).]    and implemented a comprehensive policy. In response to the serious destruction of democracy and the legal system during the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping proposed, “In order to safeguard people’s democracy, the legal system must be strengthened. Democracy must be institutionalized and legalized so that such systems and laws do not change because of changes in leadership, or because of changes in the views and attention of leaders. …… Therefore, efforts should be concentrated on the formulation of criminal law, civil law, procedural law and other necessary laws… …discussed and adopted through certain democratic procedures,…… so that there is a law to be followed, a law to be followed, the law to be strictly enforced, and the law to be investigated.”

“There is no law to follow” is the primary problem faced by the Party in the early stage of reform and opening up the legal system, based on this, the Fifth National People’s Congress supported Deng Xiaoping’s proposed laws and “In the first half of 1979, the National People’s Congress enacted and promulgated seven laws: the Criminal Law, the Criminal Procedure Law, the Electoral Law, the Local Organizations Law, the People’s Court Organization Law, the People’s Procuratorate Organization Law and the Law on Chinese-Foreign Joint Ventures in just three months.  After the tragic trampling of the democratic legal system and civil rights during the Cultural Revolution, the people longed for a stable social order and basic rights protected by law, which became a powerful source of motivation for this round of legal construction. This has created a stable political situation for the cause of reform and opening up.

It was against this historical background that the 1982 Constitution was enacted, and it played a decisive role in building consensus for reform and promoting socialist economic construction. In the process of formulating the 1982 Constitution, Comrade Peng Zhen always upheld the party principle of the legislator and insisted that the Party’s leadership be fully implemented in the preamble and the specific constitutional norms.

In line with the economic reform, a number of civil laws were promulgated and implemented at the beginning of the reform, such as the Economic Contract Law, the Law on Foreign Economic Contracts, the Patent Law, the Trademark Law, the Marriage Law, and the Inheritance Law. However, these single laws could not solve some common problems in civil matters, and the economic reform had just started, so the historical time was not yet ripe for the formulation of a civil code. In April 1986, the Fourth Session of the Sixth National People’s Congress adopted the General Principles of the Civil Law to provide for the common problems in civil activities, so as to relieve the pressure of the civil field which could not be followed. It is a basic law reflecting the spirit of reform and adjusting the planned commodity economy in China. It is not only a record of the victorious achievements of China’s economic system reform, but also a legal guarantee for the further implementation of the economic system reform, and has played an important historical role in the socialist economy and social construction in the past thirty years.

While the Party-led legislative work has made important breakthroughs, the Party also attaches extra importance to the distillation and summary of the Party-led legislative work experience. In 1991, the Party Central Committee issued the Opinions on Strengthening the Leadership of National Legislative Work, which clearly stipulated the Party’s leadership of national legislative work and made clear provisions on the content and manner of leadership as well as the scope and procedures of important laws that needed to be discussed by the Party Central Committee. This Party document marked the Party’s understanding of the law of leadership in legislative work and was of great significance to the Party’s leadership in legislative work later.

The 15th Party Congress held in 1997 clearly set “rule by law” as the basic strategy for governing the country and emphasized that “the Party leads the people in formulating the constitution and laws, and operates within the scope of the constitution and laws”, and at the same time proposed “strengthening the work of legislation, improving the quality of legislation, and improving the quality of legislation by At the same time, it was proposed to “strengthen the work of legislation, improve the quality of legislation, and form a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by 2010”, which is the first time in the history of the Party that a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics should be formed.

In March 1999, the Ninth National People’s Congress amended the Constitution to include “the People’s Republic of China implements the rule of law and builds a socialist state under the rule of law. ” into the Constitution. The amendment clearly pointed out the basic national conditions of China, i.e., “China will remain in the preliminary stage of socialism for a long time”, and made several amendments to China’s economic system in order to adapt to the changes in China’s economy and society since the reform and opening up. 

  • The State respects and protects human rights; 
  • Citizens’ lawful private property is inviolable; 
  • The State encourages, supports and guides the development of the non-public sector economy; 
  • The State may expropriate or requisition land in accordance with the law and give compensation for the needs of public interest; 
  • The State establishes a sound social security system that is commensurate with the level of economic development, etc.

In the process of China’s move to the world, the rules of international law have had an important impact on domestic rule of law reform and have placed new demands on the Party’s ability to respond to international situations and handle international affairs. Taking China’s accession to the World Trade Organization as an example, in the process of China’s integration into the world economic order, the Party and the State have adhered to the principle of “taking the lead and incorporating”, actively drawing on foreign legislation and international legislative experience, and focusing on contact and coordination with the rules of international law. Under the leadership of the Party, China has accelerated the relevant legislation and cleaned up the laws, and comprehensively promoted the legal system in accordance with the international rules, making great achievements. 

In accordance with the commitments made by the Chinese government upon its accession to the World Trade Organization, China has done a lot of work in the areas of legislation, reform and repeal, the most important of which include: the enactment of a unified contract law in 1999; the revision of intellectual property laws in 2001 to build a Chinese intellectual property legal system harmonized with international law; the enactment of a property law in 2007, which provides for equal protection of state, collective and private property rights; the telecommunications management, foreign-funded securities companies, foreign-funded insurance companies, international maritime transport management, agricultural subsidies, etc., to enact a series of new laws and regulations permitted and required by WTO rules and in line with the operation of the market economy; to speed up legislation on international affairs, especially on international trade and commerce; and to repeal some legal provisions that do not conform to WTO rules, etc.

Under the strong leadership of the Party for the construction of socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, in 2011, China has formed a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution as the core and the law as the backbone, including administrative regulations, local regulations and other normative documents, consisting of seven legal departments and multi-level legal norms, and all aspects of the country’s economic, political, cultural and social life have been realized with laws to follow, and the Party has led The legislative work has made significant historical achievements.

  1.  Stage of comprehensively following the rule of law, improving the quality of legislation and perfecting the legal system (2012-)

With the 18th Party Congress as the historical node, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era, and the construction of the rule of law in China has also entered a new era. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, the Party has elevated the basic strategy for the rule of law proposed in the 15th CPC National Congress to a new theoretical and practical height, and created a new situation for the Party to lead the construction of the rule of law.

The report of the 18th Party Congress proposed “comprehensively promoting the rule of law”, and the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Party Congress was the first time that the central plenary session was devoted to studying and deploying the basic strategy of comprehensively promoting the rule of law in the country.  The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee made a comprehensive and new top-level design for the construction of the rule of law in the new era and put forward the general goal of comprehensively promoting the rule of law, which was reaffirmed in the report of the 19th CPC National Congress, namely, building a socialist rule of law system with Chinese characteristics and a socialist rule of law state. 

In order to achieve the overall goal of comprehensively following the rule of law, we must adhere to legislation first and play the leading and promoting role of legislation. Among them, improving the quality of legislation is the key grasp; adhering to the people-centered legislative concept and integrating the core socialist values into the legal system is the value pursuit; running the principles of justice, fairness and openness through the whole process of legislation, improving the legislative system and mechanism, adhering to the concurrent reform, abolition and interpretation, and enhancing the timeliness, systematization, relevance and effectiveness of laws and regulations is the methodological support.

Under the strong leadership of the Party, the legislative work in the new era has made remarkable breakthroughs and historic achievements in many aspects, such as improving the quality of legislation, perfecting the legislative system and mechanism, coordinating legislation, reforming, abolishing and interpreting, and strengthening legislation in key areas.

1. Improve the System and Working Mechanisms of the Party Leading the Legislative Process

First, to strengthen the construction and leadership of the Party group. In 2015, the Central Political Bureau meeting considered and adopted the Regulations on the Work of the Party Group of the Communist Party of China (for trial implementation). According to this party regulation, in October 2016, the party group of the NPC Standing Committee decided to set up sub-party groups in each special committee of the NPC to take up the important responsibility of “setting the direction, managing the overall situation and ensuring implementation” in legislation.

Second, the institutional mechanism for the Party’s leadership of legislative work was clarified in the form of a normative document within the Party. In February 2016, the Party Central Committee issued the Opinions on Strengthening the Party’s Leadership of Legislative Work, which inherited and developed the Opinions on Strengthening the Leadership of National Legislation issued by the Party Central Committee in 1991. The Opinions extend it to the leadership of the Party committees of localities with legislative power over the legislative work in their own regions, providing a solid foundation and basic guidelines for better implementing the Party’s leadership into the whole process and all aspects of legislative work in the new era.

Third, the Central Committee for the Comprehensive Rule of Law was formed.In March 2018, the Party Central Committee issued the Program for Deepening the Reform of the Party and State Institutions. According to this program, in order to strengthen the centralized and unified leadership of the Party Central Committee on the construction of rule of law China, improve the system and working mechanism for the Party to lead the comprehensive rule of law state, and better implement the basic strategy of the comprehensive rule of law state, the Center’s Committee for the Comprehensive Rule of Law State was formed to be responsible for the top-level design, overall layout, coordination, overall promotion and supervision of the implementation of the comprehensive rule of law state, as the Party Central Committee’s decision-making deliberative and coordinating body to coordinate the promotion of The Committee is responsible for the top-level design, overall layout, coordination, overall promotion and supervision of the implementation of the comprehensive rule of law.

2. Implementing the decision and deployment of the Party Central Committee and improving the legislative system and mechanism

The National People’s Congress amended the Legislative Law in 2015. On February 12, 2015, General Secretary Xi Jinping presided over a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee and listened to the “Statement on Amendments to the Legislative Law of the People’s Republic of China (Draft)” of the Party Group of the Standing Committee of the NPC. He agreed in principle to the request of the Party Group of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress and gave important instructions on further revising and improving the draft amendments to the Legislative Law. After the meeting, according to the spirit of the Party Central Committee’s important instructions, the draft amendments were further revised and improved. On this basis, the Amendment to the Legislation Law (Draft), which was submitted to the meeting of the National People’s Congress for consideration, was formed. The amendment of the Legislative Law is of great significance for improving the legislative system, improving the quality and efficiency of legislation, maintaining the unity of the national legal system, forming a complete system of legal norms, promoting the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity, and building a socialist state under the rule of law.

3. Adhere to the overall leadership of the Party, coordinate the legislation, reform, abolition and interpretation, and strengthen legislation in key areas

First, on January 19, 2018, the Second Plenary Session of the Nineteenth Central Committee considered and adopted the “Proposal of the CPC Central Committee on Amending Parts of the Constitution”.On January 26, the Party Central Committee proposed to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) on amending parts of the Constitution, requesting the NPC Standing Committee to propose a constitutional amendment bill in accordance with the statutory procedures and submit it to the first meeting of the 13th National People’s Congress for consideration. On March 5 Wang Chen, Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress at the first meeting of the 13th National People’s Congress, “on the amendment to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China (draft) > note” pointed out that the decision of the Party Central Committee to make appropriate amendments to the Constitution is made after repeated consideration and comprehensive aspects of the situation, the purpose is to make our Constitution better reflect the will of the people through amendments, better reflect the advantages of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, and better adapt to the requirements of promoting the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity. This is of great significance for the comprehensive implementation of the spirit of the 19th Party Congress, the broad mobilization and organization of the people of all nationalities to seize the great victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and struggle.

The 2018 constitutional amendments, the implementation of Comrade Xi Jinping as the core of the Party Central Committee from the new era of adherence to and development of socialism with Chinese characteristics of the overall situation and strategic height to make major decisions, is to promote the overall rule of law, and promote the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity of major initiatives. Under the strong leadership of the Party, the constitutional amendments were carried out in strict accordance with the law and in accordance with the procedures, fully promoting democracy and widely building social consensus.

Second, the codification of the Civil Code is a major political and legislative task identified by the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee, and is a major deployment of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core to build the rule of law. The codification of the Civil Code is a “two-step” process: the General Principles of the Civil Code was adopted by the Fifth Session of the 12th National People’s Congress in March 2017; on May 28, 2020, the Civil Code was voted by the Third Session of the 13th National People’s Congress and will come into force on January 1, 2021.

Third, the enactment of the Supervision Law is a major initiative to implement the decision and deployment of the Party Central Committee on deepening the reform of the national supervision system, and is an inevitable requirement to adhere to and strengthen the Party’s leadership in anti-corruption work and build a centralized, unified, authoritative and efficient national supervision system.On March 20, 2018, the Supervision Law was considered and adopted at the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress, which is a The sublimation and refinement of the anti-corruption experience has provided a strong rule of law guarantee for the fight against corruption under the new situation.

Fourth, since the 18th Party Congress, the Party Central Committee, with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, has put forward a series of new ideas and new arguments on national security from the overall national security concept, and made important arrangements for strengthening national security work. The Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th Central Committee decided to implement the overall national security concept and build a national security legal system. To implement the decision and deployment of the Party Central Committee, the NPC and its Standing Committee have enacted and amended a number of important laws related to national security, such as the Anti-Espionage Law (enacted in 2014), the National Security Law (enacted in 2015), the Network Security Law (enacted in 2016), the Nuclear Security Law (enacted in 2017), and the Anti-Terrorism Law (amended in 2018).

Fifth, since the 18th Party Congress, the NPC has implemented Xi Jinping’s thought on ecological civilization and vigorously promoted high-quality legislation in the field of ecological environmental protection. The 2018 constitutional amendment amended “promote the coordinated development of material, political and spiritual civilization” to “promote material, political, spiritual and social civilization. In the amendment to the Constitution, the phrase “to promote the coordinated development of material, political, spiritual, social and ecological civilizations” was amended to “to promote the coordinated development of material, political, spiritual, social and ecological civilizations”, and the phrase “to lead and manage economic work and urban and rural construction” was changed to “to lead and manage economic work and urban and rural construction”. Leading and managing economic work, urban and rural construction and ecological civilization”, and “ecological civilization” was explicitly written into the Constitution. The Law on Prevention and Control of Soil Pollution, the Law on Prevention and Control of Noise Pollution, the Law on Environmental Protection Tax, etc. have been enacted. In general, the ecological environmental protection system has formed a tighter network, and the strictest legal system has been used to protect the ecological environment.

II. Basic experience of the Party’s Leadership of Legislation

  1.  Adhere to the Party’s overall leadership is the political guarantee for good legislative work

The Communist Party of China is the leading core of the socialist cause with Chinese characteristics, in the position of overview of the overall situation and coordination of all parties, the leadership of the Party is the fundamental guarantee for the work of the country, is the fundamental point of political stability, economic development, national unity, social stability. General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that “the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC, and the greatest advantage of the socialist system with Chinese characteristics is the leadership of the CPC”. The report of the 19th Party Congress profoundly explains the basic strategy for adhering to and developing socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, the first of which is “adhering to the leadership of the Party in all its work”. General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward “The Six Requirements” 六个必须坚持” at the Central People’s Congress work conference, the first one is “one must adhere to the leadership of the Communist Party of China”. The leadership of the Party is determined by the nature and purpose of the Party, formed in the long-term revolution and construction practice, is the inevitable choice of history and the people. The amendment to the Constitution in 2018 has enriched the content of adhering to and strengthening the overall leadership of the CPC by adding to the second paragraph of Article 1 of the Constitution, “The socialist system is the fundamental system of the People’s Republic of China. “After the words were added  “The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the most essential feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics.”

The fundamental principle of comprehensively following the rule of law is to always adhere to the leadership of the Party. The decision of the Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee has profoundly explained the dialectical relationship between the leadership of the Party and the socialist rule of law. From the historical and practical experience of China’s rule of law construction, the implementation of the Party’s leadership into the whole process and all aspects of the rule of law is the fundamental political guarantee for the historical achievements of socialist rule of law construction with Chinese characteristics. In essence, adherence to the Party’s leadership and socialist rule of law is consistent, socialist rule of law must adhere to the Party’s leadership, the Party’s leadership must rely on the socialist rule of law, “adherence to the Party’s leadership is the fundamental requirement of the socialist rule of law, is the fundamental of the Party and the State, the lifeline, is the interests of the people of all nationalities, happiness, is the comprehensive promotion of the rule of law It is the right thing to do.”

Only under the leadership of the Party can the rule by law be followed the law be enforced. Only in this way can the people’s mastery can be fully realized, and the rule by law in national and social life can be promoted in an orderly manner. In the critical historical period when socialism with Chinese characteristics enters a new era, the status of the rule by law in the overall situation of the work of the Party and the state has become more prominent and its role more significant. This is of realistic and long-term significance for comprehensively deepening reform, modernizing national governance system and capacity, achieving the second century goal, and coping with the complex and changing international situation.

As a key part of the construction of the rule by law, the great achievements made since the founding of New China are inseparable from the correct leadership of the Party. From the Party’s leadership in the formulation of the Common Program on the eve of the founding of the country to the formulation of the first socialist constitution, and from the Party’s leadership in the construction of the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics since the reform and opening up to the Party’s continued leadership in the new era in the improvement of the legal system and the construction of a more demanding rule of law system, the legislative achievements at every stage of history stem from the unremitting adherence to Party leadership. The Party’s leadership is the strongest guarantee and prerequisite for scientific, democratic and lawful legislation in China, and is a reliable guarantee that the legislative work always adheres to the correct political direction and effectively realizes people’s democracy. Adhere to the leadership of the CPC on legislation that has become a socialist construction of the rule of law with Chinese characteristics, is a fundamental principle of legislative work.

The process of Party-led legislation is the process of transforming the Party’s ideas into the will of the state through legal procedures, and has the following characteristics.

First, the Party’s leadership of legislative work adheres to the principle of democratic centralism.On December 26, 2016, General Secretary Xi Jinping, while presiding over the democratic life meeting of the Central Political Bureau, pointed out that “the Central Committee Political Bureau should continue to be a model for the whole Party in adhering to democratic centralism.” He further pointed out that “the most important thing in giving full play to the Party’s institutional strengths is to adhere to the combination of centralization on the basis of democracy and democracy under the guidance of centralization” and considered it “a scientific, rational and efficient system that reflects and reflects the interests and aspirations of all Party comrades and the whole nation and ensures the correct formulation and implementation of the Party’s lines and policies. It is a scientific, rational and efficient system. Therefore, this is the greatest institutional advantage of our Party.” The Party’s overall leadership of the legislative work should adhere to democratic centralism.

Second, as the ruling party’s leadership of legislative work, it generally involves major matters of national political, economic, cultural and social life, as well as matters that have an important impact on reform and opening up.

Third, the main body of the Party’s leadership in legislation includes the Party Central Committee and local Party committees. The Party Central Committee leads national legislation; local Party committees carry out the Party Central Committee’s decisions and plans and lead local legislation. According to the new Legislative Law, local legislative power is exercised by subjects above the municipalities set up in districts. Therefore, it is more in line with the actual situation for local party committees above a certain level to lead local legislation.

Fourth, in terms of realization, the Party-led legislation is to realize the codification of laws through legal procedures by the legislature under the leadership of the Party. Although the Party’s proposition and the law are essentially the same, there are still differences in content and form between the Party’s proposition and the law, and the two cannot replace each other. Therefore, the party’s leadership of legislation is not the party’s direct legislation, but should actively support the NPC to exercise legislative power in accordance with the law, so that the NPC in strict accordance with legal procedures, the party’s policy ideas into national law.

To improve the Party’s overall leadership of the legislative work, the Party should apply the rule of law thinking, principles and methods to institutionalize, standardize and proceduralized the Party’s leadership of the legislative work, and ensure the implementation of the Party’s policies and major decisions from the institutional and legal point of view. The system of requesting and reporting on important legislative matters; improve and perfect the Party’s legislative system; strengthen the Party’s organizational leadership and supervision of legislative work; strengthen the construction and leadership of the Party group, the Party group’s deliberations and decisions should adhere to collective leadership, democratic centralization, individual gestation, meeting decisions, major decisions should be fully consulted, the implementation of scientific decision-making, democratic decision-making, decision-making in accordance with the law.

  1.  Adhere to the Principle of Putting People First. This iis the Core Value of the Pursuit of Legislative Work

The Communist Party of China has no special interests of its own. Adhere to the leadership of the Party, the purpose is to serve the people, to ensure that the people are the masters, the legislative work must always adhere to the people as the center. The people are the creators of history, “the main body and source of strength for the construction of socialist rule of law with Chinese characteristics”. The Constitution stipulates that the People’s Republic of China is a socialist state under the democratic dictatorship of the people led by the working class and based on the alliance of workers and peasants, and all powers of the state belong to the people. Legislative power, as one of the powers of the state, certainly belongs to the people. This fundamentally determines the core value of China’s legislation should always adhere to the concept that it must “put people first”, improve legislative work, need to start from the two aspects of the entity and procedure.

In the physical aspect, adhere to legislation for the people, to complete the law to protect and promote the well-being of the people. The fundamental purpose of improving the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics with the Constitution at its core in the new era is to make every piece of legislation conform to the spirit of the Constitution, reflect the will of the people and be supported by the people, with people’s happiness as the highest pursuit, people’s satisfaction as the highest evaluation, people’s support as the political foundation and people’s democracy as the source of life. Specifically, national legislation should implement the constitutional provisions on respecting and safeguarding human rights, improve the legal system reflecting fair rights, fair opportunities and fair rules, guarantee the inviolability of citizens’ personal rights, property rights, basic political rights and other rights, guarantee the implementation of citizens’ economic, cultural and social rights, and realize the rule of law in safeguarding citizens’ rights. Correctly deal with the relationship between rights and powers, rights and obligations, powers and responsibilities, take into account the interests of different parties, and better reflect the development for the people, development relies on the people, and the fruits of development are shared by the people from the legal system.

In terms of procedures, adhere to the implementation of the principle of democratic legislation, practice the whole process of people’s democracy, to achieve open legislation, to protect the people’s participation in legislation through multiple channels. According to the law, the people have the right to participate in the management of state affairs through various ways and forms, including participation in national legislative activities. The people’s participation in national legislation is not only through the democratic election of NPC deputies, who can directly participate in the legislative work of state power organs, but also through legal procedures to reflect legislative proposals to the relevant organs. In order to fully realize the principle of democratic legislation, we should adhere to the Party’s mass line, fully develop the whole process of people’s democracy, and ensure that the people can participate in legislative activities in an orderly manner through a variety of ways and means, so that legislation truly reflects the unity of the Party’s ideas and the people’s will.

  1.  Handle correctly the relationship between policy and law is the key issue that should be grasped for good legislative work

In essence, the party’s policies and national laws are a reflection of the fundamental interests and will of the people, the two are unified. The core of China’s legislative work is to implement the Party’s policies and major decisions, and to transform the Party’s ideas into the will of the State through legal procedures, that is, the law. However, policy and law are not the same relationship or can replace each other, they are different in content and form.

As the ruling party, the policies of the CPC are the guidelines, lines and principles formulated by the Party in accordance with the objective situation and the laws of social development in a certain historical period. These policies and propositions fundamentally reflect the common will and interests of the people and the regular understanding of the development of social relations. Legislative work adheres to the Party’s leadership, the Party’s policy ideas into the legislative process, and in the name of the state power organs, in accordance with legal procedures to transform the Party’s policies into laws reflecting the will of the state, is conducive to ensuring that national laws conform to the common will and fundamental interests of the people, is conducive to ensuring that the national rule of law construction does not deviate from the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

However, the Party’s leadership in legislative work does not mean that the Party’s policies can replace legislation, nor does it mean that the law is simply and passively “translated” into legal provisions. The Party should fully respect the logic and laws of law, “to support and ensure that the organs of state power in accordance with the Constitution and laws, proactive, independent and responsible, coordinated work. We should constantly strengthen and improve the Party’s leadership, make the Party’s ideas become the will of the state through legal procedures, make the candidates recommended by Party organizations become the leaders of state power organs through legal procedures, implement the Party’s leadership of the state and society through state power organs, and apply the principle of democratic centralism to safeguard the authority of the Party and the state and the unity of the whole Party. ” In this way, the process of transforming the Party’s policy into law presents a virtuous cycle, on the one hand, the Party’s policy is better implemented through the unique way and mechanism of legal adjustment, on the other hand, the enactment and implementation of laws under the Party’s leadership enhances the authority of the Party’s leadership and helps promote the realization of good law and good governance.

Correct understanding and handling of the relationship between party policies and national laws, we must prevent two wrong tendencies: one is the theory of antagonism, that is, the party’s policies and national laws are separated and opposed to each other. Either the party’s policy is higher than national laws, national laws must be subordinated to the party’s policy, or that the rule of law can only speak of national laws, not party policy. The other is the theory of equivalence, that is, the party’s policy and national laws are completely equivalent. The manifestation of this view varies, but in essence, the party’s policy is the law, the party’s policy can replace the law. These two erroneous tendencies are not conducive to giving full play to the role of the Party’s policy, but also not conducive to maintaining the authority of the law, which has a great negative impact on the rule of law and governance by law. From the theoretical point of view, on the one hand, the two are two different social adjustment mechanisms, which need to be viewed differently.

Party policies are political decisions issued by party institutions according to the provisions of the party constitution and party regulations, while national laws are norms of behavior formulated or approved by state organs according to legal authority and procedures; party policies are usually more guiding and principled, unlike the content of laws, which are clear and specific, while national laws directly stipulate the rights, obligations and responsibilities of social members, which are specific and operable norms of behavior, more It is more suitable for adjusting relatively stable and mature social relations, and plays an irreplaceable role in regulating the rights (powers) and duties (responsibilities) of all kinds of subjects, setting points and stopping disputes, and maintaining social justice; party disciplinary sanctions can only be applied to those party members who violate party policies, while legal sanctions are punitive means backed by state coercive power and apply to all members of society who commit crimes.

Legal sanctions are punishments backed by the coercive power of the state and apply to all members of society who commit violations. On the other hand, the two are essentially the same, both are the reflection of the common interests and will of the Party and the people, closely related in content and mutually complementary in function, both are important means for the Party to lead the people to govern the country, neither the two can be completely equated, nor can they be opposed to each other, but should give full play to their respective advantages and promote the interaction of the two.

  1. Make the coordination of party rules and regulations and national laws the requirement of the times to improve the legislative work

Correctly handle the relationship between party rules and national laws, the core goal is to achieve the party rules and national laws articulated and coordinated. It is mainly reflected in three aspects.

First, party rules and regulations should not violate the Constitution and laws. The party constitution clearly stipulates that the party must operate within the scope of the constitution and laws. The Regulations of the Communist Party of China on the Formulation of Party Regulations stipulates that compliance with the provisions of the Party must be within the scope of the Constitution and the law, is a basic principle that should be followed in the formulation of party regulations. Therefore, party regulations should reflect the spirit and requirements of the Constitution and laws, ensure the inherent unity of the party regulations system and the socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, and ensure that party organizations and party members at all levels operate within the scope of the Constitution and laws.

Second, Party rules and regulations are stricter than national laws. “Those who are good for the country must first rule their own bodies.” Countless historical experiences prove that the Party’s discipline and Party rules are a strong guarantee of the rule of law. The party is a political organization with a sacred mission, and party members are citizens with special political duties. National laws are the bottom line of behavior that all citizens must follow. The requirements of Party rules and regulations for Party members are stricter than the requirements of national laws for ordinary citizens. Applying for membership in the Communist Party of China, means becoming a member of the organization, and also means taking the initiative to give up part of the rights and freedoms enjoyed by ordinary citizens. You become responsible for doing more than the duty of ordinary citizens. We must be politically loyal, obedient to the organization, and be disciplined in our actions.

Third, should improve the coordination of the separate mechanisms of party discipline,  state supervision, and the criminal justice system. The party’s discipline inspection department found that party members have disciplinary problems, should promptly find out the facts of the violation and make party disciplinary action. If a party member is also found to be suspected of having committed a crime while in office, should be transferred to the supervisory organs to deal with according to law. Discipline inspection organs, supervisory organs and criminal justice organs should establish formal systems for information sharing, case notification, case transfer system, should be clear discipline inspection, supervision and criminal justice case handling standards and procedural convergence, strict investigation and handling of party members and cadres on duty crime cases in accordance with the law.

Reviewing the history and practice of Party-led legislation for more than seventy years, we understand more deeply that the Party’s leadership is the fundamental guarantee of the people’s mastery and the rule of law. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping’s thought on the rule of law, always adhering to the Party’s overall leadership of the legislative work is the fundamental political guarantee of the great achievements of legislation in the past, and will achieve new and greater achievements in the future. In the process of building the rule of law, it is a fundamental requirement for the realization of good laws and good governance to thoroughly explore the laws of legislation for building a comprehensive modern society and precisely grasp the interrelationship between legislation and reform, Party policies and national laws, Party rules and regulations and national laws, so as to effectively and efficiently strengthen and improve the Party’s leadership over legislation.


党领导立法的历史与经验

来源: 中国人大网  浏览字号:   2022年03月16日 09:34:21

中国共产党领导是中国特色社会主义最本质的特征,这是党领导中国人民进行革命、建设与改革的历史经验总结,已经被正式载入宪法总纲第一条第二款之中。中国法治建设的历史经验表明,全面推进依法治国的伟大事业离不开党的坚强领导,党的全面领导是确保这项事业成功的根本政治保证。立法工作关系党和国家事业的发展全局,坚持党对立法工作的全面领导显得尤为关键。以提高立法质量为抓手,创新立法体制机制,完善中国特色社会主义法律体系,发挥立法的引领和推动作用,推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化,为全面建设社会主义现代化国家提供有力法治保障,依然任重道远。为此,我们需要回顾新中国成立以来党领导立法的历史进程,探究如何在立法中更好实现党的领导、人民当家作主与依法治国的有机统一,总结党领导立法的历史经验和实践途径,从而完善党对立法工作的全面领导,更好地建设中国特色社会主义法治体系。

一、党领导立法的历史回顾

新中国成立以来,中国共产党作为执政党开始领导国家的法制建设,党对立法工作的领导是法制建设的首要和关键环节。根据党和国家面临的时代问题的不同,以及党的战略决策和执政方式的变化,以党的十一届三中全会为分界点,可以将建国七十余年来党领导立法的历史划分为四个阶段:

(一)立法初创阶段(1949—1956年)

在党领导的人民解放战争即将胜利以及党即将成为全国性执政党之时,党中央从即将建立的国家政权的根本性质出发,回答是继续沿用旧的国民政府法律系统还是破旧立新的时代课题,即彻底废除国民党的“伪法统”,并提出要建立人民新法律的政治要求。1949年9月29日中国人民政治协商会议第一届全体会议通过的具有临时宪法性质的《共同纲领》,确立人民代表大会制度为我国的政权组织形式,为新政权奠定了坚实的政治法律基础。新中国成立之后,在党的领导下先后制定的《婚姻法》(1950年)、《土地改革法》(1951年),《惩治反革命条例》(1951年)、《惩治贪污条例》(1952年)等法律法规,集中体现了建国初期党的一系列政策,是党的政策的法律化,如董必武所言,“中央人民政府颁布的法律命令都是党的创意,许多重要的文稿都是先由党拟定初稿(不经过党的准备、考虑,是没有的),然后经过政协全国委员会或它的常委会讨论,再提到中央人民政府委员会或政务院讨论通过。”

宪法是国家的根本法,具有最高的法律效力,因此,党对立法的领导首先体现在党领导制定宪法。我国首部宪法即“五四宪法”起草时,党中央在内部指定了一个宪法起草小组,在毛泽东同志直接领导下,历时两个多月完成。草案初稿的说明中明确指出:“宪法草案的内容,是根据中共中央和毛主席的指示而写成的。”宪法起草委员会先后举行了九次会议讨论宪法草案,并广泛征求全国政协、各民主党派、人民团体以及中央和地方国家机关、社会各方面代表的意见和建议,以及全国范围内110多万条修改意见和建议,宪法草案最终经1954年第一届全国人民代表大会第一次会议审议并全票通过,成为我国第一部社会主义类型的宪法。整个制宪过程广泛征求并采纳了各方的意见建议,充分践行了全过程人民民主,使最终通过的宪法凝聚了党的主张和人民意志,堪称党领导中国法治建设的一个里程碑,为党领导立法工作的发展奠定了坚实的宪法基础。

根据“五四宪法”确立的立法制度与体制,从1954年到1957年底,全国人大、国务院及其部委共颁布重要法律法规731件,迎来了新中国成立以来法律法规制定的第一个高峰。此外,刑法、民法、诉讼法等基本法律的起草工作也在党的领导下开始全面铺开。党的政策主张在各个法律部门中得到具体体现,有力地推动了党领导下的社会主义法制建设,保障和促进了当时社会主义经济建设发展和社会主义改造的顺利进行。

(二)立法艰辛探索和曲折发展(1957—1976年)

党的八大之后,毛泽东同志对当时我国阶级形势以及党和国家政治状况作出完全错误估计,发动和领导了“文化大革命”,林彪、江青两个反革命集团利用毛泽东同志的错误,进行了大量祸国殃民的罪恶活动,酿成十年内乱,党和政府的各级机构、各级人民代表大会和政协组织,长期陷于瘫痪和不正常状态,公检法等专政机关和维护社会秩序的机关也都被搞乱,导致正处于起步阶段的民主法制建设基础几乎摧毁。在这一历史时期探索过程中,虽然经历了严重曲折,但在党的领导下仍然制定和实施了一些重要法律法规,如《户口登记条例》(1958年)、《农业税条例》(1958年)。1963年3月毛泽东同志明确提出,“不仅刑法要搞,民法也需要搞。现在是无法无天。没有法律不行,刑法、民法一定要搞,不仅要制定法律,还要编案例。”

(三)立法恢复与发展阶段(1978—2011年)

1978年底召开的十一届三中全会,开始反思“以阶级斗争为纲”的政治路线以及“文革”之后的“两个凡是”方针,实施全面的拨乱反正,恢复党内民主集中制的传统,并将党和国家的工作重心转移到经济建设上来,实行改革开放的政治决策。针对“文革”中民主法制被严重破坏的现象,邓小平提出,“为了保障人民民主,必须加强法制。必须使民主制度化、法律化,使这种制度和法律不因领导人的改变而改变,不因领导人的看法和注意力的改变而改变……所以,应该集中力量制定刑法、民法、诉讼法和其他各种必要的法律……经过一定的民主程序讨论通过,……做到有法可依,有法必依,执法必严,违法必究。”

“无法可依”是改革开放初期党领导法制建设所面临的首要难题,基于此,第五届全国人民代表大会秉持邓小平所提出的“(法律)要成熟一个、制定一个”,且“宜快不宜慢”、“宜粗不宜细”的立法原则,承担起了改革开放初期搭建法律体系框架的历史重任。1979年上半年,全国人大仅用了三个月的时间便制定和颁布了刑法、刑事诉讼法、选举法、地方组织法、人民法院组织法、人民检察院组织法、中外合资经营企业法等七部法律。由于历经文革时期民主法制和公民权利被践踏的惨痛过程,人民群众渴望稳定的社会秩序和受法律保护的基本权利,这成为了这一轮法制建设的强大动力源,党和国家顺应民意,恢复权力机关运作、重建公检法系统,快速制定刑法、刑诉法等基本法律,并平反了大量冤假错案,为改革开放事业开创了一个安定的政治局面。

伟大的改革开放事业需要根本法提供法治保障,方可顺利开展起来。1982年宪法即是在这样的历史背景下被制定出来,它对于凝聚改革共识、推进社会主义经济建设起到了决定性的作用。在制定“八二宪法”的过程中,彭真同志始终秉持着立法者的党性原则,坚持把党的领导全面贯彻到宪法序言和具体的宪法规范之中。

与经济改革相适应,在改革初期我国陆续颁布实施了一批民事单行法,如经济合同法、涉外经济合同法、专利法、商标法、婚姻法、继承法等,但是,这些单行法无法解决民事活动中的一些共性问题,经济改革又刚刚起步,制定民法典的历史时机尚未成熟,1986年4月,六届全国人大四次会议通过《民法通则》,对民事活动中的共性问题予以规定,以缓解民事领域无法可依的压力。这是体现我国改革精神、调整有计划的商品经济的基本法,既是我国经济体制改革胜利成果的记录,又是经济体制改革深入进行的法制保障,在过去三十多年社会主义经济与社会建设中发挥了重要的历史作用。

在党领导的立法工作取得重要突破的同时,党也格外重视对党领导立法工作经验的提炼总结。党中央1991年发布《关于加强对国家立法工作领导的若干意见》,明确规定党对国家立法工作的领导,并对领导的内容和方式以及需要党中央讨论的重要法律的范围及程序做了明确的规定。这份党内文件标志着党对立法工作领导规律的认识,对后来党领导立法工作具有重要意义。

1997年召开的党的十五大明确将“依法治国”作为治国的基本方略,并强调“党领导人民制定宪法和法律,并在宪法和法律范围内活动”,同时提出“加强立法工作,提高立法质量,到二〇一〇年形成有中国特色社会主义法律体系”,在党的历史上第一次提出要形成中国特色社会主义法律体系。

随着我国改革开放的不断推进,为确认改革成果并为下一步继续推进改革做准备,全国人大以宪法修正案形式对宪法做出了多次修正。1999年3月,第九届全国人大以宪法修正案的形式,将“中华人民共和国实行依法治国,建设社会主义法治国家”纳入宪法之中。该次宪法修正案明确指出我国的基本国情,即“我国将长期处于社会主义初级阶段”,对我国的经济制度做了多处修正,以适应改革开放以来中国经济社会发生的变化。2004年宪法修正案对宪法修改了十多处,主要有:国家尊重和保障人权;公民的合法的私有财产不受侵犯;国家鼓励、支持和引导非公有制经济的发展;国家为了公共利益的需要,可以依照法律规定对土地实行征收或者征用并给予补偿;国家建立健全同经济发展水平相适应的社会保障制度,等等。

在中国走向世界的过程中,国际法规则对国内法治改革产生了重要影响,对党应对国际局势和处理国际事务的能力提出了新的要求。以中国加入世界贸易组织为例,在中国融入世界经济秩序的进程中,党和国家秉持“以我为主、兼收并蓄”的原则,积极借鉴国外立法和国际立法经验,注重与国际法规则的接洽与协调。在党的领导下,我国加快了相关立法和清理法律的工作,按照国际通行规则全面推进法制建设,取得了巨大成就。根据中国政府加入世界贸易组织时的承诺,我国在法律的立、改、废等方面做了大量的工作,这其中最重要的包括:1999年制定统一的合同法;2001年修订知识产权法律,构建与国际法协调的中国知识产权法律体系;2007年制定物权法,规定平等保护国家、集体和私人的物权;在电信管理、外资证券公司、外资保险公司、国际海运管理、农业补贴等领域,制定一系列世贸规则所允许和要求的、符合市场经济运作的新的法律法规;加快国际事务方面的立法,尤其是国际经贸方面的立法;废除一些不符合世贸规则的法律规定等等。

在党对中国特色社会主义法制建设的坚强领导下,2011年我国形成了以宪法为核心,以法律为主干,包括行政法规、地方性法规等规范性文件在内,由七个法律部门、多层次法律规范构成的中国特色社会主义法律体系,国家经济、政治、文化、社会生活的各个方面已经实现有法可依,党领导立法工作取得了重大的历史性成就。

(四)全面依法治国、提高立法质量和完善法律体系阶段(2012—)

以党的十八大为历史节点,中国特色社会主义进入新时代,中国法治建设也跨入新时代。党的十八大以来,党将十五大所提出的依法治国基本方略提升到了新的理论和实践高度,开创了党领导法治建设的新局面。

党的十八大报告提出“全面推进依法治国”,党的十八届四中全会更是首次以中央全会专题研究部署全面推进依法治国这一治国基本方略;党的十九大报告进一步将坚持全面依法治国确立为新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义的基本方略之一,提升了全面依法治国在推进国家治理现代化和建设社会主义现代化强国中的基础性、支撑性、引领性作用;2021年党中央召开党的历史上、人民代表大会制度历史上的第一次中央人大工作会议,习近平总书记在会上强调,必须坚持全面依法治国。党的十八届四中全会对新时代法治建设进行了全面、全新的顶层设计,提出了全面推进依法治国的总目标,党的十九大报告重申了这一总目标,即建设中国特色社会主义法治体系,建设社会主义法治国家。为实现全面依法治国总目标,必须坚持立法先行,发挥立法的引领和推动作用。其中,提高立法质量是关键抓手;坚持以人民中心的立法理念,将社会主义核心价值观融入法律体系是价值追求;把公正、公平、公开原则贯穿立法全过程,完善立法体制机制,坚持立改废释并举,增强法律法规的及时性、系统性、针对性、有效性是方法论支撑。

在党的坚强领导下,新时代立法工作围绕提高立法质量、完善立法体制机制、统筹立改废释以及加强重点领域立法等诸多方面,取得了显著的突破与历史性成就:

1.完善党领导立法的制度和工作机制

第一,加强党组建设和领导。2015年,中央政治局会议审议通过《中国共产党党组工作条例(试行)》。根据这一党内法规,2016年10月,全国人大常委会党组决定在全国人大各专门委员会设立分党组,担负起在立法中“把方向、管大局、保落实”的重要职责。

第二,以党内规范性文件的形式明确党对立法工作领导的体制机制。2016年2月党中央印发《关于加强党领导立法工作的意见》,继承和发展了1991年党中央印发的《关于加强对国家立法工作领导的若干意见》。1991年《意见》主要集中在党中央对国家立法的领导,而2016年《意见》则将之扩展到有立法权地方的党委对本地区立法工作的领导,为新时代更好地把党的领导贯彻到立法工作的全过程和各方面提供了坚实基础和基本遵循。

第三,组建中央全面依法治国委员会。2018年3月,党中央印发了《深化党和国家机构改革方案》。根据这一方案,为加强党中央对法治中国建设的集中统一领导,健全党领导全面依法治国的制度和工作机制,更好落实全面依法治国基本方略,组建了中央全面依法治国委员会,负责全面依法治国的顶层设计、总体布局、统筹协调、整体推进、督促落实,作为党中央决策议事协调机构,统筹推进全面依法治国。

2.贯彻党中央决策部署,完善立法体制机制

全国人大2015年修改了《立法法》。《关于〈立法法修正案(草案)〉的说明》明确指出,党中央高度重视立法法的修改,将立法法修改列为需要党中央2015年研究的重大立法事项。2015年2月12日,习近平总书记主持召开中央政治局常委会会议,听取了全国人大常委会党组《关于〈中华人民共和国立法法修正案(草案)〉几个主要问题的请示》的汇报,原则同意全国人大常委会党组的请示,并就进一步修改完善立法法修正案草案作出重要指示。会后,根据党中央的重要指示精神,对修正案草案又作了进一步修改完善。在此基础上,形成了提请全国人民代表大会会议审议的《立法法修正案(草案)》。《立法法》的修改对于完善立法体制、提高立法质量和效率、维护国家法制统一、形成完备的法律规范体系、推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化、建设社会主义法治国家,具有重要的意义。

3.坚持党的全面领导,统筹立改废释,加强重点领域立法

第一,2018年1月19日,十九届二中全会审议通过《中共中央关于修改宪法部分内容的建议》。1月26日,党中央向全国人大常委会提出关于修改宪法部分内容的建议,请全国人大常委会依照法定程序提出宪法修正案议案,提请第十三届全国人民代表大会第一次会议审议。3月5日,第十二届全国人大常委会副委员长兼秘书长王晨在第十三届全国人民代表大会第一次会议上所作的《关于<中华人民共和国宪法修正案(草案)>的说明》指出,党中央决定对宪法进行适当修改,是经过反复考虑、综合方方面面情况作出的,目的是通过修改使我国宪法更好体现人民意志,更好体现中国特色社会主义制度的优势,更好适应推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化的要求。这对于全面贯彻党的十九大精神、广泛动员和组织全国各族人民为夺取新时代中国特色社会主义伟大胜利而奋斗具有十分重大的意义。

2018宪法修正案,贯彻以习近平同志为核心的党中央从新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义全局和战略高度作出的重大决策,是推进全面依法治国、推进国家治理体系和治理能力现代化的重大举措。在党的坚强领导下,宪法修改严格依法按程序进行,充分发扬了民主、广泛地凝聚了社会共识。

第二,编纂民法典是党的十八届四中全会确定的一项重大政治任务和立法任务,是以习近平同志为核心的党中央作出的重大法治建设部署。编纂民法典采取“两步走”的工作思路进行:2017年3月《民法总则》经第十二届全国人民代表大会第五次会议审议通过;2020年5月28日,《民法典》经十三届全国人大三次会议表决通过,并于2021年1月1日起施行。

第三,制定监察法是贯彻落实党中央关于深化国家监察体制改革决策部署的重大举措,是坚持和加强党对反腐败工作的领导,构建集中统一、权威高效的国家监察体系的必然要求。2018年3月20日,《监察法》经第十三届全国人民代表大会第一次会议审议通过,这是对党的十八大以来反腐败经验的升华提炼,为新形势下反腐败斗争提供了坚强的法治保障。

第四,党的十八大以来,以习近平同志为核心的党中央从总体国家安全观出发,就国家安全问题提出了一系列新思想新观点新论断,对加强国家安全工作作出重要部署。十八届四中全会决定提出贯彻落实总体国家安全观,构建国家安全法律制度体系。贯彻党中央决策部署,全国人大及其常委会先后制定、修改了一批有关国家安全的重要法律,例如《反间谍法》(2014年制定)、国家安全法(2015年制定)、《网络安全法》(2016年制定)、《核安全法》(2017年制定)、《反恐怖主义法》(2018年修改)等。

第五,党的十八大以来,全国人大贯彻落实习近平生态文明思想,有力推进生态环境保护领域的高质量立法。2018年宪法修正案把“推动物质文明、政治文明和精神文明协调发展”修改为“推动物质文明、政治文明、精神文明、社会文明、生态文明协调发展”,将“国务院行使下列职权”中“领导和管理经济工作和城乡建设”修改为“领导和管理经济工作和城乡建设、生态文明建设”,“生态文明”明确写入了宪法。制定了土壤污染防治法、噪声污染防治法、环境保护税法等,修改了环境保护法、海洋环境保护法、环境影响评价法、水污染防治法、大气污染防治法、固体废物污染环境防治法、防沙治沙法、野生动物保护法等一系列的生态环境保护法律,民法典、民事诉讼法等法律也对生态环境保护的规定做出了相应的调整,总体上形成了较为严密的生态环境保护制度之网,用最严格的法律制度来保护生态环境

二、党领导立法的基本经验

(一)坚持党的全面领导,是搞好立法工作的政治保证

中国共产党是中国特色社会主义事业的领导核心,处在总览全局、协调各方的地位,党的领导是做好国家各项工作的根本保证,是我国政治稳定、经济发展、民族团结、社会稳定的根本点。习近平总书记强调,“中国特色社会主义最本质的特征是中国共产党领导,中国特色社会主义制度的最大优势是中国共产党领导”。党的十九大报告深刻阐释了新时代坚持和发展中国特色社会主义基本方略,其中第一条便是“坚持党对一切工作的领导”。习近平总书记在中央人大工作会议上提出“六个必须坚持”,第一条就是“必须坚持中国共产党领导”。党的领导地位是由党的性质和宗旨所决定的,是在长期的革命和建设的实践中形成的,是历史和人民的必然选择。我国宪法以国家根本法的形式,确认了中国共产党领导中国人民进行革命、建设、改革的伟大斗争和根本成就。2018宪法修正案充实了坚持和加强中国共产党全面领导的内容,宪法修正案在宪法第一条第二款“社会主义制度是中华人民共和国的根本制度”之后增加规定:“中国共产党领导是中国特色社会主义最本质的特征。”

全面依法治国的根本原则在于,始终坚持党的领导。党的十八届四中全会决定深刻阐释了党的领导与社会主义法治的辩证关系。从中国法治建设的历史和现实经验来看,将党的领导贯彻到依法治国的全过程和各方面,是中国特色社会主义法治建设所以取得历史性成就的根本政治保障。从本质上讲,坚持党的领导与社会主义法治是一致的,社会主义法治必须坚持党的领导,党的领导必须依靠社会主义法治,“坚持党的领导,是社会主义法治的根本要求,是党和国家的根本所在、命脉所在,是全国各族人民的利益所系、幸福所系,是全面推进依法治国的题中应有之义。”只有在党的领导下依法治国、厉行法治,人民当家作主才能充分实现,国家和社会生活法治化才能有序推进。在中国特色社会主义进入新时代的关键历史时期,依法治国在党和国家工作全局中的地位更加突出、作用更加重大,党中央深刻总结历史、着眼未来,从国际国内两个大局出发,适时地将依法治国基本方略提升到了全面依法治国这样一个新的高度,这对于全面深化改革、实现国家治理体系和治理能力现代化、实现第二个百年奋斗目标,以及应对复杂多变的国际局势,具有现实和长远的重要意义。

立法工作作为法治建设的关键一环,自新中国成立以来所取得的伟大成就,都与党的正确领导密不可分。从建国前夕党领导《共同纲领》的制定到第一部社会主义宪法的制定,从改革开放以来党领导中国特色社会主义法律体系的构建到新时代党继续领导法律体系的完善以及更高要求的法治体系的建设,每一个历史阶段的立法成就都源于对党领导的不懈坚持。党的领导是我国科学立法、民主立法、依法立法最有力的保证与前提,是立法工作始终坚持正确的政治方向、切实实现人民民主的可靠保障。坚持中国共产党对立法的领导,已经成为中国特色社会主义法治建设的题中之义,是立法工作的一项根本性原则。

党领导立法的过程,是把党的主张通过法定程序转化为国家意志的过程,具有如下特征:

第一,党对立法工作的领导坚持民主集中制原则。2016年12月26日,习近平总书记在主持中央政治局民主生活会时指出:“中央政治局要继续在坚持民主集中制方面成为全党典范。”并进一步指出,“充分发挥党的制度优势,最重要的就是必须坚持民主基础上的集中和集中指导下的民主相结合”,认为它“是反映、体现全党同志和全国人民利益与愿望,保证党的路线方针政策正确制定和执行的科学的合理的有效率的制度。因此,这是我们党最大的制度优势。”党对立法工作的全面领导,应当坚持民主集中制。

第二,作为执政党对立法工作的领导,一般涉及到国家政治、经济、文化和社会生活的重大事项,以及对改革开放有重要影响的事务。

第三,党领导立法的主体包括党中央和地方党委。党中央领导全国性立法;地方党委贯彻党中央决策部署,领导地方立法。按照新《立法法》的规定,地方立法权由设区的市以上的主体行使。因此,由一定层级以上的地方党委领导地方立法,更符合实际情况。

第四,从实现途径而言,党领导立法是在党的领导下,立法机关经法定程序实现法律的立改废释纂。尽管党的主张与法律在本质上是一致的,但是党的主张与法律仍然存在着内容和形式上的区别,二者不能相互代替。因此,党领导立法并不是党直接立法,而应当积极支持人大依法行使立法权,使人大严格依照法定程序,将党的政策主张转化为国家法律。

完善党对立法工作的全面领导,应当运用法治思维、法治原则、法治方式,实现党对立法工作领导的制度化、规范化、程序化,从制度上、法律上保证党的路线方针政策和重大决策部署的贯彻落实,具体可以包括:加强和完善党对立法规划和重大立法事项的审核、批准制度;加强和完善重要立法事项的请示汇报制度;健全和完善党领导立法工作的党内法规制度;加强党对立法工作的组织领导和督导落实制度;加强党组建设和领导,党组议事、决策应当坚持集体领导、民主集中、个别酝酿、会议决定,重大决策应当充分协商,实行科学决策、民主决策、依法决策。

(二)坚持以人民为中心,是立法工作的核心价值追求

中国共产党没有自己的特殊利益。坚持党的领导,目的是为人民服务,保证人民当家做主,立法工作必须始终坚持以人民为中心。人民是历史的创造者,“是中国特色社会主义法治建设的主体和力量源泉”。宪法规定,中华人民共和国是工人阶级领导的、以工农联盟为基础的人民民主专政的社会主义国家,国家的一切权力属于人民。立法权作为国家权力之一,当然属于人民。这从根本上决定了我国立法应当始终坚持的核心价值理念必须是“以人为中心”。 

坚持以人民为中心,搞好立法工作,需要从实体和程序两大方面着手:

在实体方面,坚持立法为民,以完备的法律保障和增进人民福祉。新时代完善以宪法为核心的中国特色社会主义法律体系的根本目的在于,以人民利益为中心,以人民幸福为最高追求,以人民满意为最高评价,以人民拥护为政治基础,以人民民主为生命源泉,使每一项立法都符合宪法精神、反映人民意愿、得到人民拥护。具体而言,国家立法应当落实宪法尊重和保障人权的规定,完善体现权利公平、机会公平、规则公平的法律制度,保障公民人身权、财产权、基本政治权利等各项权利不受侵犯,保障公民经济、文化、社会等方面权利得到落实,实现公民权利保障法治化。正确处理权利与权力、权利与义务、权力与责任的关系,统筹兼顾不同方面的利益,从法律制度上更好体现发展为了人民、发展依靠人民、发展成果由人民共享。

在程序方面,坚持落实民主立法原则,践行全过程人民民主,做到立法公开,保障人民群众通过多渠道参与立法。根据法律规定,人民有权通过各种途径和形式参与管理国家事务,包括参与国家立法活动。人民群众参与国家立法,既可以通过民主选举人大代表,由人大代表直接参加国家权力机关的立法工作,又可以通过合法程序向有关机关反映立法建议。为充分实现民主立法原则,应该坚持党的群众路线,充分发扬全过程人民民主,保证人民可以通过多种途径和方式有序地参与立法活动,使立法真正体现党的主张和人民意愿的统一。

(三)正确处理政策和法律的关系,是做好立法工作应当把握的关键问题

从本质上而言,党的政策和国家法律都是对人民根本利益和意志的反映,二者是统一的。我国立法工作的核心要义在于,贯彻落实党的方针政策和重大决策部署,通过法定程序把党的主张转化为国家意志即法律。但是,政策和法律并不是同一的关系或者可以相互取代的关系,二者在内容和形式上有所区别的。

中国共产党作为执政党,其政策是党依据一定历史时期的客观形势和社会发展规律制定的方针、路线、原则,这些政策主张,从根本上体现着人民群众的共同意志和利益,反映着社会关系发展的规律性认识。立法工作坚持党的领导,把党的政策主张贯彻落实到立法过程之中,并以国家权力机关的名义,按照法定程序将党的政策转化为体现国家意志的法律,有利于确保国家法律符合人民的共同意志和根本利益,有利于确保国家法治建设不偏离中国特色社会主义道路。但是,党领导立法工作并不意味着党的政策可以代替立法,也并不意味着法律只是简单地、被动地把政策“翻译”为法律条文。党应当充分尊重法律的逻辑和规律,“要支持和保证国家政权机关依照宪法法律积极主动、独立负责、协调一致开展工作。要不断加强和改善党的领导,善于使党的主张通过法定程序成为国家意志,善于使党组织推荐的人选通过法定程序成为国家政权机关的领导人员,善于通过国家政权机关实施党对国家和社会的领导,善于运用民主集中制原则维护党和国家权威、维护全党全国团结统一。”这样,党的政策转化为法律的过程呈现出一种良性循环,一方面党的政策借由法律调整所特有的方式和机制得到更好的贯彻落实,另一方面,党领导下的法律制定和实施更加提升了党的领导的权威性,有助于推动良法善治的实现。

正确认识与处理党的政策和国家法律的关系,必须防止两种错误的倾向:一种是对立论,即把党的政策和国家法律割裂开来、对立起来。要么认为党的政策高于国家法律,国家法律必须服从党的政策,要么认为实行法治就只能讲国家法律,不能讲党的政策。另一种是等同论,即把党的政策和国家法律完全等同起来。这种观点的表现形式不一,但实质上是认为党的政策就是法律,党的政策可以取代法律。这两种错误倾向既不利于充分发挥党的政策的作用,也不利于维护法律的权威,对依法治国和依法执政具有很大的负面影响。从理论上看,一方面,二者是两种不同的社会调整机制,需要区别看待。党的政策则是党的机构根据党章和党内法规的规定出台的政治决策,国家法律是国家机关依据法定职权和程序制定或认可的行为规范;党的政策通常具有较强的指导性和原则性,不像法律的内容那样明确具体,国家法律直接规定社会成员的权利、义务和责任,是具体、可操作的行为规范,更具有普遍性、明确性、稳定性,更适合于调整相对稳定、相对成熟的社会关系,在规范各类主体的权利(权力)和义务(职责)、定分止争、维护社会公平正义上发挥不可替代的作用;党纪制裁只能适用于那些违反党的政策的党员,法律制裁是以国家强制力为后盾的惩罚手段,适用于所有实施违法行为的社会成员。另一方面,二者在本质上是一致的,都是党和人民共同利益和意志的反映,内容上密切联系,功能上相互补充,都是党领导人民治国理政的重要手段,既不能把二者完全等同,也不能把二者对立起来,而应当发挥二者的各自优势,促进二者的互联互动。

(四)实现党规党纪和国家法律衔接协调,是搞好立法工作的时代要求

正确处理党规党纪和国家法律的关系,核心目标是实现党规党纪和国家法律衔接协调。主要体现在三个方面:

第一,党规党纪不应当违反宪法法律。党章明确规定,党必须在宪法和法律的范围内活动。《中国共产党党内法规制定条例》规定,遵守党必须在宪法和法律的范围内活动的规定,是制定党内法规应当遵循的一项基本原则。因此,党内法规应当体现宪法和法律的精神和要求,保证党内法规制度体系与中国特色社会主义法律体系的内在统一,确保各级党组织和党员在宪法和法律范围内活动。

第二,党规党纪严于国家法律。“善为国者必先治其身”。无数历史经验证明,党的纪律与党的规矩,是依法治国的有力保障。党是肩负神圣使命的政治组织,党员是有着特殊政治职责的公民。国家法律是全体公民必须遵循的行为底线。党规党纪对党员的要求严于国家法律对普通公民的要求。申请加入中国共产党,成了有组织的人,就意味着主动放弃一部分普通公民享有的权利和自由,就必须多尽一份义务,就要在政治上讲忠诚、组织上讲服从、行动上讲纪律。

第三,应当健全党内执纪与国家监察、刑事司法衔接机制。党的纪检部门发现党员存在违纪问题时,应当及时查清违纪事实,作出党纪处分。如发现党员还涉嫌职务犯罪,应当移送监察机关依法处理。纪检机关、监察机关与刑事司法机关之间应建立信息共享、案情通报、案件移送制度,应当明确纪检、监察和刑事司法办案标准和程序衔接,依法严格查办党员干部职务犯罪案件。

回顾七十余年党领导立法的历史与实践,使我们更加深刻地理解到,党的领导是人民当家作主、依法治国的根本保证。在习近平法治思想指引下,始终坚持党对立法工作的全面领导,是立法过去之所以取得伟大成就、未来还将取得新的更大成就的根本政治保证。在法治建设的进程中,深入探究面向建设全面现代化社会的立法规律,精准把握立法与改革、党的政策和国家法律、党规党纪和国家法律等相互关系,以便切实有效地对加强和完善党对立法工作的领导,是实现良法善治的根本要求。

(作者:中国人民大学习近平法治思想研究中心主任 冯玉军)

About 高大伟 David Cowhig

After retirement translated, with wife Jessie, Liao Yiwu's 2019 "Bullets and Opium", and have been studying things 格物致知. Worked 25 years as a US State Department Foreign Service Officer including ten years at US Embassy Beijing and US Consulate General Chengdu and four years as a China Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research. Before State I translated Japanese and Chinese scientific and technical books and articles into English freelance for six years. Before that I taught English at Tunghai University in Taiwan for three years. And before that I worked two summers on Norwegian farms, milking cows and feeding chickens.
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