1982 Constitution of the PRC


1982 Constitution of the PRC
China’s constitutional law framework is based on the 1982 Constitution, as revised in 1993 and 1999. As with all Chinese constitutions, the 1982 document set forth the jurisdictional and organizational principles for organs of government, including the authority of government ministries, the National People’s Congress, the Supreme People’s Court and Procuracy. The 1982 Constitution was an effort to repudiate fully and finally the Cultural Revolution legacies evident in the constitutions of 1973 and 1978. Thus, the 1982 Constitution echoed principles from the 1954 Constitution on such matters as the independence of judicial organs from administrative (but not Party) interference; the authority of the National People’s Congress to enact and interpret legislation; and the role of the State Council in setting and carrying out government programmes and policies. While the role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is scarcely mentioned in the text of the Constitution itself, the references to the Four Basic Principles in the Preamble and in Drafting Committee Chair Peng Zhen’s explanatory speech make clear the centrality of CPC leadership over interpretation and implementation of the Constitution.
This was made particularly clear in 1989, when an effort to challenge the declaration of martial law on constitutional grounds was rejected as the ‘use of law for an unlawful purpose’. The 1982 Constitution has been revised to account for policy changes made by the CPC leadership. The 1993 constitutional revisions specified the importance of the socialist market economy. The 1999 revisions to the Constitution strengthened the role of private property. However, the central leadership role of the Communist Party of China has been retained throughout.
PITMAN POTTER

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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