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Top legislature to weigh proposal to amend 7 laws

(China Daily)

08:42, October 16, 2012

China's top legislature will deliberate a draft proposal to amend seven laws, including the Prison Law, and review a report on the qualifications of certain lawmakers during a bimonthly session scheduled for next week.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee, the nation's top legislature, will convene a session from Oct 23-26 in Beijing, according to a decision made at a meeting of the NPC Standing Committee on Monday.

Insiders said the draft proposal to amend seven laws, including the Prison Law, will be small-scale and aims to update the stipulations to coordinate with the Amendment to the Criminal Procedure Law, which is due to take effect on Jan 1.

The Criminal Procedure Law, passed at the National People's Congress in March, states detention houses can only hold inmates whose sentences are less than three months. The stipulation is inconsistent with the standing rules in the Prison Law, which allow detention houses to hold criminals serving less than a one-year sentence.

The Criminal Procedure Law has also updated stipulations regarding lawyers' rights and the protection of juveniles during investigations and court trials.

The law requires that trials of cases in which the offenders are under 18 be closed to the public. And if the offender is under 18 at the time of the crime and sentenced to less than five years imprisonment, the records of the crime should be sealed and not be disclosed to any institution or individual unless permitted by law.

By July 2011, a total of 2,331 juvenile courts had been set up across the country, according to a white paper released by the State Council Information Office on Oct 9.

A draft amendment to the Postal Law will be discussed for the first time at the upcoming session, according to the decision made at a meeting of the NPC Standing Committee on Monday.

Lawmakers will also discuss appointments and dismissals, according to the statement. The statement provided no details of the draft amendment and the above-mentioned bills.

Lawmakers next week will continue to debate the draft mental health law following two readings in October 2011 and August. They will also discuss a draft revision to the Law on Securities Investment Funds, which was tabled for deliberations in June.

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