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Draft supervision law asks for feedback from public
Last Updated: 2017-11-08 07:27 | China Daily/Xinhua
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Measure would protect rights of Party members under investigation

China's top legislature made public a widely anticipated draft law on Tuesday that would improve the supervision of government workers and replace the controversial Party practice of shuanggui with a new detention system.

Shuanggui is an intra-Party disciplinary procedure of the Communist Party of China requiring a member who is being investigated to cooperate with questioning at a set time and place. The practice is exercised by the Party's disciplinary officials and is largely informal, creating tricky legal issues.

Under the draft law, the practice would be replaced by a new detention system that would formally safeguard the rights of those under investigation through several measures.

Family members or the employers of detainees would receive written notice of a detention within 24 hours, and the detention would be no longer than three months. Under special circumstances, the detention could be extended once, by three months at most, under the current draft language.

It would also set up supervisory commissions at the county, city, provincial and national levels. The commissions would function under the supervision of the people's congresses at the same level.

The full text of the draft law is available on the website of the National People's Congress, and members of the public are invited to offer comments or suggestions by Dec 6, either through online messages or letters.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, said in a report to the 19th CPC National Congress in October that the Party will work for the adoption of national anti-corruption legislation.

"A national supervision law will be formulated. Supervisory commissions will be given responsibilities, powers and means of investigation in accordance with the law. The practice of shuanggui will be replaced by detention," he said.

Ma Huaide, vice-president of China University of Political Science and Law, said the national supervision law specifies under what circumstances a person may be detained, the reasons for the detention and the specific method of detention.

"The supervisory commissions will have full investigation rights under the new supervisory system, and are therefore entitled to measures for performing their function," he said.

At the end of last year, a supervisory commission pilot program started in Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces and Beijing. The NPC Standing Committee adopted a decision on Saturday to expand the pilot countrywide.

Under the pilot project, supervision commissions were established in the three regions, sharing offices and work with the Party's disciplinary inspection commissions.

The commissions are empowered to conduct investigations, and they archive all material and evidence relevant to the process. They follow detailed procedures during investigations, according to a report by Xinhua News Agency.

The results of the pilot have been significant. Since the reform, the number of people under supervision rose from 210,000 to 997,000 in Beijing; from 785,000 to 1.315 million in Shanxi; and from 383,000 to 701,000 in Zhejiang.

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