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China to amend law on administrative procedure
Updated: 2005-08-22 19:34

China plans to amend the Administrative Procedure Law within five years, said an official with the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

At a symposium of Beijing Lawyers' Association on Sunday, Li Yuan, head of the Administrative Procedure Law Office under the Commission of Legislative Affairs of the NPC Standing Committee, said suggestions are being collected from experts on the amendment of the law.

Experts suggested that the Administrative Procedure Law should be increased from current 75 articles to 198 articles, and the court should have rights to final jurisdiction on administrative disputes, according to Li.

China's Administrative Procedure Law, adopted in 1989, has enabled citizens to sue the governments and their departments at all levels if their rights or interests were violated by administrative decisions or moves.

People used to be afraid of the government or were unwilling to sue it. Some even resorted to revenge or extreme means to seek justice. But now, a growing number of Chinese are aware of defending their legitimate rights and interests with law.

Experts proposed that government documents and regulations should be under judicial review. Chief officials or the lawsuit agent of government departments should appear in court.

At present, the Administrative Procedure Law forbids intermediation in the lawsuit against government. Experts said intermediation should be allowed so long as it does not violate laws and infringe upon other's interests.

Experts also suggested that citizens may sue the governments in other places to solve the problem of local protectionism.

In addition, chief officials of the government departments should shoulder the legal responsibility if court sentence is not executed, said experts.

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