Local communities to have a say on law implementation

Chen Huizhi
The liaison points in local communities on legislative matters in Shanghai will soon engage residents on supervising the implementation of laws.
Chen Huizhi

Shanghai residents will soon be able to make their voices heard by legislators on the effectiveness of the implementation of laws.

The Shanghai People's Congress, the city's legislature, said on Thursday that the liaison points in local communities on legislative matters will expand their functions to ensure that residents are better involved in forging the rule of law.

There are 25 such liaison points in Shanghai, spread across all districts. Currently, their major function is to collect opinions from the public on legislative matters and convey them to legislators.

As of the end of June this year, the liaison points had been involved in soliciting public opinion on 20 national laws and 64 local regulations. More than 6,500 legislative suggestions were relayed to national and local legislators with 533 adopted and drafted into laws.

In China, it's required that all draft laws be made public to solicit opinions, and the function of the liaison points is to engage members of groups most affected by the draft laws during the legislative process and overall to nurture democracy at the grassroots level.

During a visit to Shanghai in November 2019, President Xi Jinping said that in China people's democracy is a "full process democracy" with all key legislative decisions made on a democratic and scientific basis.

He made the remarks on a trip to the liaison point on legislative matters of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress at the Gubei Civic Center, Changing District.

A "full process people's democracy research and implementation base" was established at this liaison point on Thursday.

Apart from the newly announced effort to engage the public in supervising the implementation of laws, the base will also serve as a window for the public, both in China and from abroad, to get a close-up look at how democracy works in China, according to the Shanghai People's Congress and Changning District.

The base will also keep imparting knowledge on practicing people's democracy to other liaison points both in Shanghai and in other parts of the country.

Xu Chunhui, director of the committee on work related to people's congresses at Caoyang Xincun Subdistrict in Putuo District, where its liaison point has engaged residents in the legislative process of 27 laws since April last year, said doors are now open for residents to take a greater part in the lawmaking process.

"People can already file their opinions on draft laws on our official WeChat app, and later they will also have a say on the implementation of the laws," he said.

Their opinions could serve as references during law revisions.

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