The Major Significance and Basic Experience of Shaping a Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics

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Wu Bangguo

I, Fully understand the important significance of shaping a Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics

Developing Socialist democracy and completing a Socialist legal system are important strategic tasks for building Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Since the establishment of the new China and especially in the thirty years of reform and opening up, under the correct leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, and through the persistent and unwavering common efforts of all sides, our country’s legislation work has gained huge achievements that attracted the attention of the world. In 1982, the present Constitution was passed, after this, on the basis of the development requirements of objective circumstances, parts of the content of the Constitution were revised four times in total. By the end of 2010, our country had formulated the current 236 valid laws, more than 690 administrative regulations and more than 8600 local regulations, and completely accomplished the concentrated clean-up work of current laws and administrative regulations, as well as local regulations. At present, legal departments covering all aspects of social relationships are complete, fundamental and important laws in all legal departments have been formulated, corresponding administrative regulations and local regulations are relatively complete, and generally, the integration of science and harmony has been achieved inside the legal system. A Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics that is based on China’s national circumstances and reality, that is suited to the requirements of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction, that concentrates and reflects the aspirations of the Party and the people, with the Constitution as commander-in-chief, with laws related to the Constitution, civil law, commercial law and laws in other legal departments as backbone, composed of laws, administrative regulations, local regulations and laws and regulations at many other levels has been shaped, it has been realized that there are laws to follow in all aspects of national economic construction, political construction, cultural construction, social construction as well as ecological civilization construction. This is an important milestone in the history of our country’s Socialist democratic legal system construction, and has a major practical significance and a profound historical significance.

First, the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is the legal system basis for the ever-flourishing colours of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Integrating the basic principles of Marxism with the concrete reality of China, marching our own path and constructing Socialism with Chinese characteristics are the basic conclusions gained from our Party’s summary of historical experience, and are the only correct path for our country to develop and progress. To persist in the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, the most important is that we must persist in the correct political orientation, and do not waver in major principles involving the basic national system, etc. Once we waver, we will not only be unable to talk about modernization construction, but the development achievements that have already been obtained may be lost, and the country may even fall into the abyss of internal chaos. The Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics has, using the form of the Constitution and the laws, established the basic system and basic tasks of the country, has established the leading position of the Chinese Communist Party, has established the guiding position of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important “Three Represents” thought, it has established the national system of the people’s democratic dictatorship led by the working class, with unity between workers and peasants as the basis, it has established the political system of the People’s Congress structure, it has established that all State power belongs to the people, and the broad rights and freedoms that citizens enjoy according to the law, it has established the multi-Party cooperation and political consultation system under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the regional ethnic autonomy system as well as the grass-rots masses self-autonomy system, it has established the basic economic system of public ownership at the core, jointly developing with many kinds of ownership systems, and the allocation system of allocation according to labour at the core, jointly existing with many kinds of allocation systems. Starting from the Chinese national circumstances, it earnestly reflects that we will not do multi-Party rotational governance, not do pluralisation of the guiding ideology, not do “separation of three powers” or a bicameral system, not do federalism and not do privatization. The forming of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics has rammed down a legal system basis to found the state and rejuvenate the country, for a long period of peace and order, it guarantees in structural and legal terms that the Chinese Communist Party is the leading core of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics from beginning to end, it guarantees that all State power is closely grasped in the hands of the people, it guarantees the independence of the nation, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the State, it guarantees national unity, social stability and the great unity of all ethnicities, it guarantees persisting in an independent, autonomous and peaceful  foreign affairs policy, and marching a peaceful development path, it guarantees that the country will always forge valiantly ahead in the correct direction of Socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Second, the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is the reflection of a legal system innovated and practiced by Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Reform and opening up are the key choices that our Party has made in leading the people of all ethnicities in the entire country, that decide the fate of China at present, is the path that must be followed in developing Socialism with Chinese characteristics and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and a new lively vitality for Socialism. Over the last thirty years, we have persisted in putting economic construction at the centre, completely moved reform and opening up forward, successfully realized the magnificent historical transformation from a highly concentrated planned economic structure to a socialist market economic structure that is full of vitality, and from being closed or half-closed to complete openness, we have mustered the tremendous vigour of hundreds of millions of people, we have liberated and developed tremendous social productive forces,, our country continues to develop forwards at speeds that are rare in the world. We have timely brought the practice and experience of reform and opening up, and Socialist modernization construction into laws, have progressed with the times, and have, on the basis of new situations and new issues emerging in reform and opening up, fully given rein to the standardizing, guiding, guaranteeing and stimulating functions of the law in formulating and perfecting corresponding laws and systems in promoting the transformation of economic development methods, promoted administration according to the law and a fair judiciary, promoting the construction of a society that focuses on guaranteeing and improving people’s livelihoods, promoting the great development and great flourishing of Socialist culture, and promoting the harmonious interaction between people and nature, and other areas. The formation Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics guarantees in systemic and legal terms that the country persists in the correct orientation of reform and opening up from beginning to end, strives to build structures and mechanisms that are full of vitality, rich in efficiency, that are even more open and benefit scientific development, and promote the incessant self-perfection and development of our country’s Socialist system.

Third, the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is the legal system guarantee for the flourishing and growth of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Realizing modernization is the beautiful desire of which one generation of Chinese people after another dreamt and the struggle objective to which we continue to adhere. In the thirty years of reform and opening up, we have opened up the path of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, and have shaped the theoretical structure of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, this is the basic reason for our gaining all achievements and progress. We have held high the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics from beginning to end, we have not feared any risk, we have not been misled by any interference, we have concentrated our attention on construction, and have wholeheartedly sought development, by the year 2020, we will build a moderately prosperous society of an even higher level for hundreds of millions of people, and by the middle of the century, we will basically realize modernization. The development achievements that we have already achieved are inseparable from the guarantees of the legal system, our sparing no effort to initiate an even more beautiful future is also inseparable from the guarantees of the legal system. The formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics has brought the development of all of the country’s undertakings onto the track of legalization, it has resolved fundamental, comprehensive, stability-related and long-term problems brought on by the development of the country in systemic and legal terms, and has established a clear value orientation, development orientation and basic path for the incessant perfection of the Socialist market economy, the deep development of Socialist democratic politics, the daily flourishing of advanced Socialist culture and the vigorous construction of a Socialist harmonious society, and has laid down a firm legal system basis for the construction of a Socialist modernized country that is rich, strong, democratic, civilized and harmonious, and realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation

The formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is a major achievement obtained by the Chinese Communist Party’s leadership of hundreds of millions of people in developing Socialist democracy and completing the Socialist legal system. The first generation of the central Party leadership collective with Comrade Mao Zedong at the core has led the people of all ethnicities in the entire country to undergo a long period of fighting bloody battles, established the People’s Republic of China, formulated the “Common Programme of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference” and the first constitution of the new China, it established the basic national system, and established a basic political precondition and systemic basis for the establishment of the Socialist democratic legal system construction and the formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. The second generation of the central Party leadership collective with Comrade Deng Xiaoping at the core deeply summarized the painful lessons from the “Great Cultural Revolution”, and at the same time as making the policy decision of shifting the focus of Party and State work to economic construction and implementing reform and opening up, determined the policy of strengthening the construction of the Socialist democratic legal system as an unwavering policy, stressed the necessity of systematization and legalization of Socialist democracy, ensured that this sort of system and law did not change because of change in leaders, and did not change because of a change in leaders’ viewpoints and attention, it achieved that there was law to rely on, that law must be followed, law enforcement must be strict, and law-breaking must be punished, it opened up a new period of prospering and development in the construction of the Socialist democratic legal system. The third generation of the central Party leadership collective with Comrade Jiang Zemin at the core led the entire Party and the people of all ethnicities in the entire country into pushing the successes of the magnificent undertaking of reform and opening up towards the 21st Century, incessantly enriched and developed the construction and thoughts of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, first, it made governing the country according to the law into a basic strategy for the Party’s leading the people in governing the country, it made the Socialist rule of law country into an important content for Socialist modernization construction, and clearly put forward the legislative work objective of forming the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by 2010, which opened up a new phase in Socialist democratic legal system construction. Since the 16th Party Congress, the Party Centre with Comrade Hu Jintao at the core has carry forward the cause and forged into the future, progressed with the times, and has unwaveringly continued to push forward the great cause of reform and opening up in completely constructing a moderately prosperous society, it put forward the major strategic though of the scientific development view and the major strategic task of building a harmonious Socialist society, it completely implemented the basic strategy of governing the country according to the law, stressed that the most essential matter in developing Socialist democratic politics is organically integrating persisting in the leadership of the Party, letting the people master their own affairs, and governing the country according to the law, and has initiated a new picture for the construction of a Socialist democratic legal system.

Forming the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is the result of a long period of common efforts from all sides. The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee have earnestly implemented the duties entrusted to then by the Constitution and the law, have incessantly strengthened and improved legislative work, have strived to raise legislative quality, and have done great amounts of highly effective work for the forming of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. The State Council has adapted to the requirements of economic and social development and legal implementation, and has timely formulated administrative regulations according to the law, local People’s Congresses and their Standing Committees have integrated the reality of their localities, formulated large amounts of local regulations according to the law, and have made important contributions to the formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics. All local levels’ People’s Governments, all levels’ Peoples Courts and People’s Procuratorates, as well as the military and other sides,  the broad popular masses, experts and scholars have forcefully supported and vigorously participated in legislative work, and have contributed wisdom and strength to the formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics.

II, Earnestly summarizing the basic experience of forming the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics

The 3rd Plenum of the 11th Party Congress, starting from the urgent need to develop Socialist democracy and completing the Socialist legal system, clearly put forward that the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee should put legislative work on the important matters agenda, since then, our country’s legislative activities have completely recovered and rapidly unfolded. The 15th Party Congress, standing on the height of implementing the strategy of governing the country according to the law and constructing a Socialist rule of law country, clearly pot forward the legislative work agenda to form the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics by 2010. The 17th Party Congress stressed the necessity to persist in scientific legislation and democratic legislation, perfecting the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, unwaveringly persisting in developing Socialist democratic rule of law, and put forward new requirements on legislative work in new periods. In the 30 years of reform and opening up, under the leadership of the Party Centre, we have successfully marched a legislative path with Chinese characteristics. We have persisted in the organic integration of the leadership of the Party, the people mastering their own affairs and governing the country according to the law, closely revolved around the larger picture of Party and State work, developed legislative work in a planned, focused and gradual manner, and only used a few decades of time to form the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, the gravity of the legislative task was rarely seen in the world, an unprecedented multitude of difficulties were overcome, the achievements were hard-earned, and experiences were rather precious. The most important experiences here come under five headings.

First, persist in the leadership of the Party. The Chinese Communist Party is the leading core of the undertaking of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. The leadership of the Party is the basic guarantee for the people to master their own affairs and governing the country according to the law, and is the basic guarantee to strengthen the construction of a democratic legal system and do legislative work well. The leadership of the Party mainly is political, ideological and organization guidance, through formulating major policies, putting forward legislative suggestions, recommending important cadres, conducting ideological propaganda, giving rein to the function of Party organizations and Party members, persisting in governance according to the law, and implementing the leadership of the Party over country and society. Our Party represents the basic interest of the broadest people, the major policies formulated by the Party and the legislative suggestions it puts forward concentrate the collective wisdom of the entire Party and the entire country, and reflect the common aspirations of the broadest people. Persisting in the leadership of the Party is completely consistent with submitting to the interest of the people. In legislative work, our persisting in the leadership of the Party enables the standpoints of the Party to become the volition of the law through statutory procedures, and become a behavioural norm and principle that the entire society abides by as one, in systemic and legal terms, guaranteeing the implementation of the Party’s line, principles and policies, guarantees the smooth conduct of reform and opening up, and Socialist modernization construction. We closely revolve around the central task of the Party and the State in comprehensively planning legislative work, scientifically formulating legislative plans and legislative planning, vigorously move focus legislative programmes forward, guaranteeing the implementation major Party and State policy decisions and deployments. Legislative procedures are timely started for legislative suggestions put forward by the Party Centre, firmly implementing the Centre’s intentions and satisfactorily completing the political tasks handed over by the Centre. Focus and difficult issues encountered in legislation are reported to the Party Centre. In short, all of our laws and regulations have been formulated under the Party’s leadership, all laws and regulations that we formulate must benefit strengthening and improving the Party’s leadership, benefit the consolidation and perfection of the Party’s governing position and benefit guaranteeing that the Party leads the people in effectively governing the country.

Second, persisting in taking the theoretical structure of Socialism with Chinese characteristics as guidance. Law is the systematization, standardization and proceduralization of the Party’s line, principles and policies that practice has proven to be correct, mature and require long-term implementation. Persisting in the correct guiding ideology is the basic precondition for strengthening the construction of a democratic legal system and doing legislative work well. The theoretical structure of Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a scientific theoretical structure including Deng Xiaoping Theory, the important “Three Represents” thought as well as the scientific development view and other major strategic ideologies, it is the newest achievement of the Sinification of Marxism, it is the most precious political and spiritual treasure of our Party, and its the common ideological basis for the united struggle of the people of all ethnicities from the entire country, it is the guiding ideology that we must persist in for the long term, and is the basic principle for us to do all work well. In legislative work, we must from beginning to end persist in taking the theoretical structure of Socialism with Chinese characteristics as guidance, use this to unify ideological understanding and determine legislative lines of thought, in terms of the guiding ideology of legislation, we integrate the Four Cardinal Principles with persisting in reform and opening up  from beginning to end, integrate persisting in the basic Socialist system with developing the market economy, integrate promoting reform of the economic basis with promoting reform in the superstructure, integrate raising efficiency with stimulating social justice, integrate stimulating reform and development with maintaining social stability, integrate persisting in independence and autonomy with participating in economic globalization, to guarantee that the laws and regulations we formulate benefit the consolidation and perfection of the Socialist system, benefit the liberation and development of social productive forces, and benefit giving rein to the superiority of the Socialist system.

Third, persisting in starting from China’s national circumstances and reality. Law belongs to the superstructure, it is decided by the economic base and served the economic base. Persisting in starting from our country’s national circumstances and reality is an objective requirement for strengthening the construction of a democratic legal system and doing legislative work well. Our country is in and will remain for a long time in a primary stage of Socialism, reform, opening up and Socialist modernization are conducted on the basis of the facts that the population is high and the starting point is low, following the deep development of the undertaking of modernization construction, a series of new phase-related characteristics have emerged in our country’s economy and society, we must not only make great efforts to resolve deep contradictions and problems that have accumulated for a long time, but we must also appropriately respond to new situations and new themes that we face in development, the tasks of reform, development and stability are extremely onerous and huge. In legislative work, we persist in starting from our country’s national conditions and reality from beginning to end, make the magnificent practice of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization into a basis for legislation, closely revolve around this central task of economic construction, closely revolve around the struggle objective of completely constructing a moderately prosperous society, and closely revolve around promoting stimulating development and stimulating social harmony in unfolding legislative work. Correctly grasping the relationship between reform, development and stability, appropriately dealing with the relationship between legal stability and practical variability, appropriately dealing with the relationship between the farsighted nature and feasibility of the law, guarantee that legislative processes are adapted to the process of reform, opening up and Socialist modernization construction. Where practical experience is relatively mature, and the understanding from all side is relatively consistent, regulations that are a bit more concrete, strengthens the operability of the law. Where practical experience is not yet mature but in reality, there is a need for law to conduct standardization, regulations are to be more principles at first, in order to guide practical provision of standards and guarantees, and in order to leave some space for deepening reform, when conditions are mature, revision and supplements can be made. Where conditions are not yet there for using law to standardize some new situations and new problems met in reform and development, formulate administrative regulations and local regulations first according to statutory powers, conduct advanced trials, and when experience is gained and conditions become mature, laws are formulated. We also pay attention to researching and learning from foreign legislative experience, and attract those things that are beneficial and useful for us, but we will absolutely not copy things mechanically. All countries’ legal structures are different, we do not use the legal system of some Western countries to overlap with the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, where foreign legal systems have laws, but they do not conform to our country’s national circumstances and reality, we will not implement them; where foreign legal systems do not have laws,  but they are needed in our country’s real life, we will timely formulate them.

Fourth, persisting in putting people first and legislating for the people. Reflecting the common aspiration of the people, guaranteeing that the people master their own affairs, and safeguarding the people’s basic rights and interests are concepts that the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics must have. Persisting in putting people first and legislating for the people, are the basic objectives for strengthening the construction of a democratic legal system and doing legislative work well. In legislative work, we persist in realizing, safeguarding and developing the basic rights and interests of the broadest people well from beginning to end into a starting point and stopover point, both in the legislative process and in legal norms, we persist in putting people first, respecting the dominant role of the people, respecting in  the pioneering spirit of the people, draw wisdom from the people’s practice and creation, and gain impetus from the people’s development objectives. Correctly grasp the basic interest of the broadest people, the common interests of the masses in the current phase and the relationship between the special interests of different groups, correctly reflect and comprehensively plan the interests of groups on different sides, strive to resolve the problems of interests that the masses are most directly concerned about and are the most real. Correctly deal with the relationship between power and rights, and between power and responsibility, endow administrative organs, judicial organs and procuratorate organs with the necessary powers, and pay attention to standardizing, restricting and supervising the exercise of powers, realistically safeguarding the lawful rights and interests of citizens, legal persons and other organizations. Persist in marching the path of the masses, deeply move scientific legislation and democratic legislation forward, incessantly expand the orderly participation of the broad citizens in legislation, fully give rein to the function of People’s Congress representatives in legislation, broadly hear opinions from all sides and especially grass-roots masses, realistically achieve that wisdom is pooled and a consensus reached, to ensure that the laws and regulations we formulate fully reflect the common aspiration of the popular masses, and strengthen the mass basis for the implementation of laws and regulations.

Fifth, persisting in the unity of the Socialist legal system. Persisting in the unity of the Socialist legal system is an inherent requirement for strengthening the construction of a democratic legal system and doing legislative work well. Our country us a united, multi-ethnic, single-system country. The unity of the Socialist legal system is the basis for safeguarding national unity, ethnic unity and social stability, and for establishing a unified modern market system. At the same time, our country’s’ territory is vast, all localities’ economic, cultural and social development is unbalanced, and the country is in a period of deep reform. This basic national situation decides that the country implements a legislative structure which is unified and divided into tiers, which means entrusting the State Council with the powers to formulate administrative regulations and provincial-level People’s Congresses and their Standing Committees or People’s Congresses in relatively large cities and their Standing Committees with the powers to formulate local regulations, under the precondition of persisting in the fact that the National People’s Congress and its standing committee exercises national legislative powers in a centralized manner, and the locations of special economic zones are endowed with the powers to formulate special economic zone regulations and ethnic autonomous localities with the powers to formulate autonomous regulations and specific regulations. In this way, we safeguard the unity of the Socialist legal system, appropriately consider the characteristics of and differences between all localities, and fully muster the vigour of both the centre and the localities; we timely raise mature experiences from reform and opening up into law, and leave room for deepening reform. We persist in safeguarding the authoritative position of the Constitution as the basic law of the country from beginning to end, launch legislative work strictly according to statutory powers and in adherence to statutory procedures, at the same time as formulating laws and regulations, we have launched concentration and arrangement work of current laws and regulations, and strengthen filing and inspection of normative documents, in order to guarantee that laws, administrative regulations and local regulations do not conflict with the Constitution, guarantee that administrative regulations do not conflict with laws, guarantee that local regulations do not conflict with laws and administrative regulations, and guarantee that the provisions of laws and regulations are linked up and coordinated, do not contradict each other, to guarantee the unity of the Socialist legal system.

III, Deeply grasp the new circumstances and tasks facing the perfection of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics

After the formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, how to adapt to the requirements of economic and social development and Socialist legal system construction, continue to strengthen legislative work, raise legislative quality and perfect the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics are major topics put in front of us. We must persist in the successful experiences and effective methods used earlier, unify understanding, make persistent efforts, and throw ourselves into the magnificent practice of constructing a Socialist rule of law country with abundant political enthusiasm and a pragmatic work style, and incessantly create new pictures for legislative work from new starting points. Here, I’d like to stress three points.

The first point, legislation work tasks remain huge and formidable. Social practice is the basis of the law, law is the summary of practical experience. Social practice is boundless, legislative work must also incessantly move forward. Establishing Socialism with Chinese characteristics is a long-term historical task, perfecting the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is also a long-term historical task, which must develop in the footsteps of the development of the practice of Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Moreover, the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics itself is not static, closed or determined,  but it is dynamic, open and developing. New situations, new practices and new tasks have put forward new and even higher requirements for legislative work.

This is because: first, our country is in a historical process of deepening reform, on the path ahead, new situations and new issues of this or that sort will be encountered, some can be anticipated, some are hard to anticipate, we must both resolve the prominent issues we face at present, and must establish structures and mechanisms that benefit scientific development, the task of reform, development and stability remains arduous, the tasks of legislative work will not decrease, the difficulty will also not go down. Second, our country’s economic and social development has entered the “12th Five-Year Plan” period, the Centre has put forward that we must closely grasp and use well this important strategic opportunity period, guarantee that scientific development obtains new and striking progress, and guarantee that the transformation of economic development methods obtains substantial progress, and there is still major work to be done on how our legislative work  can revolve around the economic and social development objectives and tasks in the “12th Five-Year Plan”, in terms of systemic and legal promotion of the implementation of major State policy deployments. Third, following the deep development of Socialist democratic politics, the people’s political participation and vigour has incessantly risen, their rights consciousness has strengthened ever more, their interest claims are incessantly becoming more concrete, their desire to participate in legislation is ever higher, and they have put forward ever higher requirements concerning doing legislative work well. We must also consider that our legal system, although it has been formed, is not yet complete and flawless itself, it constrains some issues where current laws must be revised, and problems where a number of supplementary regulations urgently need to be formulated, there are also a few issues where laws have not yet been rolled out, this is mainly because legislative conditions are not yet mature, understanding in various areas is incompletely consistent, and continuous exploration and accumulation of experience is necessary in practice. In short, legislative work can only be strengthened and cannot be weakened. Because of this, the National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee must fully give rein to the function of the highest State powers and organs, exercise State legislative powers according to the law, strengthen organizational coordination of legislative work, supervise relevant sides in earnestly researching and resolving major issues touched upon in legislation, innovate legislative work lines of thought, perfect legislation work mechanisms, strengthen legislation work organ and team construction, incessantly raise the quality and level of legislative work.

The second point, putting revision and perfection of laws and formulating supplementary regulations in an even more prominent position. After the formation of the legal system, we shall put even more mental power towards the revision and perfection of laws, put them to the formulation and revision of supplementary regulations, and must naturally still formulate a number of new laws, in order to adapt to the requirements of new circumstances and developments, and promote the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics to move ahead with the time, become developed and perfected. In the present and future periods, we must strive to do work in three areas well.

First, we must put even more stress on the revision and perfection work of laws. Following the deep development of the economy and the society, some provisions of current laws are perhaps hard to adapt to new circumstances, and may even obstruct economic or social development, these must be timely revised and perfected. Some legal provisions were drafted in relatively principle-based manner earlier, after implementation for a period of time, the incessant accumulation of experience, the incessant deepening of understanding, there are conditions to revise them into something more concrete and clear, and with a stronger operative nature, the social relationships regulated by laws formulated in different periods may be similar or alike, and integration must be conducted of these laws on the basis of comprehensive research. Because of this, we must give high regard to legal revision and perfection work, this is both an inherent requirement of perfecting the legal system, and is an important task for legislative work in the next period. At the same time, we must, on the basis of summarizing trials and experiences, vigorously launch post-legislation appraisal work, and through many forms, objectively appraise the scientific nature of legal structures, the operability of legal provisions, the effectiveness of legal implementation, etc., in order to provide an important basis t revise and perfect laws and improve legislative work. Furthermore, we must also strengthen legal interpretation and legal compilation, arrangement and other work. Where legal provisions require further clear and concrete meanings, or new situations occur after the formulation of a law that requires a clear basis of applicable law, the text of legal provisions may be endowed with a more accurate and more focused connotation through timely making legislative interpretations, this is also an important work in guaranteeing the effective implementation of laws.

Second, we must supervise relevant side’s grasping of formulation work of supplementary regulations to laws. Administrative regulations and legal regulations are important component parts of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, make laws more detailed and supplement them, although some are pioneering or advance trials, most of them are supplementary to laws. We have already established work mechanisms to supervise the formulation of regulations supplementary to laws, we hope that relevant sides give this high regard, vigorously cooperate and grasp the formulation of regulations supplementing current laws according to the principles of legal provisions and on the basis of concentrating and arranging regulations. In the future, for all newly-formulated and newly-revised laws, the supplementary regulations must be drafted at the same pace as the legal draft, efforts must be made to timely roll them out after the passing of the law, in order to even better guarantee the effective implementation of the law.

Third, we must continue to do legal formulation work well. On order to adapt to the requirements of economic and social development, we must closely grasp researching and formulating laws to move the transformation of economic development methods forward, guarantee and improve the people’s livelihood, safeguard social harmony and stability, stimulate sustainable development and other aspects. We must earnestly summarize administrative regulation implementation experiences, and timely promote those where laws should be used to standardize and adjust matters, where legislative conditions are relatively mature and opinions from all sides are relatively consistent, into law. What must be pointed out here is that the methods to regulate social relationships are varied and manifold, apart from laws and regulations, there are also market mechanisms, social customs, moral standards as well as management experience, science, technology, etc., it isn’t the case that more laws is better, where it is possible to use other social regulation means to resolve problems, these should not and must not be resolved through legislation.

The third point, striding forward with a new pace in the areas of scientific legislation and democratic legislation. To perfect the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics, we must continue to deepen moving scientific legislation and democratic legislation forward, this not only is an important reflection of the people mastering their own affairs, it is also an important channel for raising legislative quality. The process of forming the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is the process of incessantly deepening scientific legislation and democratic legislation, and is a concentrated reflection of carrying forward Socialist democracy. During the first period of reform and opening up, the problem that there was no law to rely on was considerably prominent, and we put forward that “something is better than nothing” and “doing it fast is better than doing it slowly”, this was necessary and this was reasonable. Even under such circumstances, we have stressed that legislation must persist in marching the mass line and fully carried forward from beginning to end, when something became mature, we formulated something. After 30 years, we have accumulated many beneficial experiences in the areas of scientific legislation and democratic legislation, and this has had an extremely important function in raising legislative quality. We must earnestly summarize practical experience, deeply move scientific legislation and democratic legislation forward, strive to raise legislative quality, and incessantly perfect the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics.

We must vigorously explore channels and means for the public to participate in legislation in an orderly manner, fully give rein to the function of hearings, argumentation meetings, forums, etc., to broadly solicit opinions and suggestions from all sides of society and especially the grass-roots masses, earnestly hear opinions and suggestions from experts and scholars, strive to raise the focus and efficiency of legislation, incessantly perfect work mechanisms to publish legislative drafts, establish and complete feedback mechanisms to capture public opinions, vigorously respond to social concerns, realistically strengthen the effect of public participation in legislation, make the legislative process into a process of legal dissemination. We must perfect work mechanisms for People’s Congress representatives to participate in legislation, integrate dealing with representatives’ motions and suggestions work formulating revision of laws, integrate inviting representatives to participate in Standing Committee activities with raising legislative drafting and deliberation quality, earnestly research and absorb opinions and suggestions put forward by representatives, fully give rein to the function of People’s Congress representatives in legislative work. We must incessantly perfect communication and coordination mechanisms for legislative drafting, fully give rein to the function of unified deliberation by legal committees and deliberation by specialized committees, muster the vigour of all sides and jointly do legislative work well. We must scientifically and reasonably determine legislative programmes, establish and complete legislative programme discussion systems. We must incessantly raise legal draft deliberation quality, legal drafting where legal relationships are relatively complex and the differences of opinion are relatively large, a positive and cautious attitude is to be adopted, deeply investigate those that need to be investigated, repeatedly consult where consultation is necessary, fully argue where argument is necessary, and only submit something for decision after consensus has basically been reached from all sides. We must perfect legislative techniques, unify legal layout, structure, and language use, and ensure that legal provisions are even more accurate, concise and standardized.

Here, I’d also like to stress the issue of implementation of law. The life of the law is in its implementation. The formation of the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics has generally resolved the issue of having law to rely on, under this sort of situation, the issues that there is a law that must be observed, law enforcement must be strict and law-breaking must be prosecuted appear even more prominent and even more urgent, this is an issue that the broad popular masses pay widespread attention to, with strong reactions from all sides. Because of this, we must, at the same time as continuing to strengthen legislative work, adopt vigorous and effective measures to realistically guarantee the effective implementation of the Constitution and the laws. First, we must safeguard the authority and dignity of the Constitution and the laws. All State organs and armed forces, all parties and all social organizations, all enterprises, undertakings and groups must abide by the Constitution and the laws, no organization or individual may have privileges exceeding the Constitution and the laws, all acts violating the Constitution and the laws must be prosecuted. Second, we must persist in administration according to the law and a fair judiciary. State administrative organs must handle matters strictly according to statutory powers and procedures, and accelerate the construction of a rule of law government. State judicial organs and procuratorial organs must independently exercise their judicial powers and procuratorial powers according to the law, to safeguard social justice and fairness. Third, we must strengthen a sense of the law and the concept of rule of law in the whole society. Formulate and implement “Sixth Five-Year Plan” law popularization plans, deeply launch education on the Socialist rule of law concept, shape a social atmosphere for conscious study of law, observance of the law and use of the law. Let all levels’ leading cadres and State organ work personnel take the lead in respecting the Constitution and the law, be good at utilizing the law to resolve real problems existing in actual life, let the broad popular masses understand how to express their interest claims, and resolve contradictions and disputes according to procedure and according to the law, and use legal weapons to safeguard their own lawful rights and interests. The National People’s Congress and its Standing Committee must exercise the important function of supervising the implementation of the Constitution and the laws according to the law, all local levels’ People’s Congresses and their Standing Committees must exercise the important tasks guaranteeing that the Constitution, laws and administrative regulations are respected and implemented in their administrative areas according to the law, an guarantee that all State organs truly use the powers entrusted to them by the people for the benefit of the people.

The achievement of forming a Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics is brilliant, perfecting the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics will mean shouldering heavy responsibilities for a long time ahead. Let us closely unite around the Party Centre with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary, hold high the magnificent banner of Socialism with Chinese characteristics, deeply implement the spirit of the 17th Party Congress, persist in the integration of the leadership of the Party, letting the people manage their own affairs and governing the country according to the law, do not shy away from the mission, pioneer and progress, to perfect the Socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics from new starting points, and make new and even greater contributions to strengthening the construction of a Socialist legal system, implementing the basic plan of governing the country according to the law, and constructing a Socialist rule of law country!

(This is the speech that Comrade Wu Bangguo made on 24 January 2011 at the Forum on Forming the Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics. At the time of publication, Seeking Truth made a few revisions, the title has been added by the Seeking Truth editor.)

形成中国特色社会主义法律体系的重大意义和基本经验
作者:吴邦国

一、充分认识形成中国特色社会主义法律体系的重大意义

发展社会主义民主,健全社会主义法制,是建设中国特色社会主义的一项重要战略任务。新中国成立以来特别是改革开放30多年来,在中国共产党的正确领导下,经过各方面坚持不懈的共同努力,我国立法工作取得了举世瞩目的巨大成就。1982年通过了现行宪法,此后又根据客观形势的发展需要,先后四次对宪法部分内容作了修改。到2010年底,我国已制定现行有效法律236件、行政法规690多件、地方性法规8600多件,并全面完成了对现行法律和行政法规、地方性法规的集中清理工作。目前,涵盖社会关系各个方面的法律部门已经齐全,各法律部门中基本的、主要的法律已经制定,相应的行政法规和地方性法规比较完备,法律体系内部总体做到科学和谐统一。一个立足中国国情和实际、适应改革开放和社会主义现代化建设需要、集中体现党和人民意志的,以宪法为统帅,以宪法相关法、民法商法等多个法律部门的法律为主干,由法律、行政法规、地方性法规等多个层次的法律规范构成的中国特色社会主义法律体系已经形成,国家经济建设、政治建设、文化建设、社会建设以及生态文明建设的各个方面实现有法可依。这是我国社会主义民主法制建设史上的重要里程碑,具有重大的现实意义和深远的历史意义。

第一,中国特色社会主义法律体系是中国特色社会主义永葆本色的法制根基。把马克思主义基本原理同中国具体实际相结合,走自己的路,建设中国特色社会主义,是我们党总结历史经验得出的基本结论,也是我们国家发展进步的惟一正确道路。坚持中国特色社会主义道路,最重要的是坚持正确的政治方向,在涉及国家根本制度等重大原则问题上不动摇。动摇了,不仅现代化建设无从谈起,已经取得的发展成果也会失去,甚至国家可能陷入内乱的深渊。中国特色社会主义法律体系,是以宪法和法律的形式,确立了国家的根本制度和根本任务,确立了中国共产党的领导地位,确立了马克思列宁主义、毛泽东思想、邓小平理论和“三个代表”重要思想的指导地位,确立了工人阶级领导的、以工农联盟为基础的人民民主专政的国体,确立了人民代表大会制度的政体,确立了国家一切权力属于人民、公民依法享有广泛的权利和自由,确立了中国共产党领导的多党合作和政治协商制度、民族区域自治制度以及基层群众自治制度,确立了公有制为主体、多种所有制经济共同发展的基本经济制度和按劳分配为主体、多种分配方式并存的分配制度。从中国国情出发,郑重表明我们不搞多党轮流执政,不搞指导思想多元化,不搞“三权鼎立”和两院制,不搞联邦制,不搞私有化。中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成,夯实了立国兴邦、长治久安的法制根基,从制度上、法律上确保中国共产党始终成为中国特色社会主义事业的领导核心,确保国家一切权力牢牢掌握在人民手中,确保民族独立、国家主权和领土完整,确保国家统一、社会安定和各民族大团结,确保坚持独立自主的和平外交政策、走和平发展道路,确保国家永远沿着中国特色社会主义的正确方向奋勇前进。

第二,中国特色社会主义法律体系是中国特色社会主义创新实践的法制体现。改革开放是我们党带领全国各族人民作出的决定当代中国命运的关键抉择,也是发展中国特色社会主义、实现中华民族伟大复兴的必由之路,赋予社会主义新的生机活力。30多年来,我们始终坚持以经济建设为中心,全面推进改革开放,成功实现了从高度集中的计划经济体制到充满活力的社会主义市场经济体制、从封闭半封闭到全方位开放的伟大历史转折,极大地调动了亿万人民的积极性,极大地解放和发展了社会生产力,我国以世界上少有的速度持续快速向前发展。我们及时把改革开放和社会主义现代化建设的实践经验上升为法律,并与时俱进,根据改革开放中出现的新情况新问题,从推动经济发展方式转变,推动依法行政和公正司法,推动以保障和改善民生为重点的社会建设,推动社会主义文化大发展大繁荣,推动人与自然和谐相处等方面制定和完善相应的法律制度,充分发挥法律的规范、引导、保障和促进作用。中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成,从制度上、法律上保障国家始终坚持改革开放的正确方向,着力构建充满活力、富有效率、更加开放、有利于科学发展的体制机制,推动我国社会主义制度不断自我完善和发展。

第三,中国特色社会主义法律体系是中国特色社会主义兴旺发达的法制保障。实现现代化,是一代又一代中国人梦寐以求的美好愿景和矢志不渝的奋斗目标。改革开放30多年来,我们开辟了中国特色社会主义道路,形成了中国特色社会主义理论体系,这是我们取得一切成绩和进步的根本原因。我们将始终高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜,不为任何风险所惧,不被任何干扰所惑,聚精会神搞建设,一心一意谋发展,到2020年建成惠及十几亿人口的更高水平的小康社会,到本世纪中叶基本实现现代化。我们已经取得的发展成就离不开法制的保障,我们奋力开创更加美好的未来也离不开法制的保障。中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成,把国家各项事业发展纳入法制化轨道,从制度上、法律上解决了国家发展中带有根本性、全局性、稳定性和长期性的问题,为社会主义市场经济的不断完善、社会主义民主政治的深入发展、社会主义先进文化的日益繁荣、社会主义和谐社会的积极构建,确定了明确的价值取向、发展方向和根本路径,为建设富强民主文明和谐的社会主义现代化国家、实现中华民族伟大复兴奠定了坚实的法制基础。

形成中国特色社会主义法律体系,是中国共产党领导亿万人民发展社会主义民主、健全社会主义法制取得的重大成果。以毛泽东同志为核心的党的第一代中央领导集体,带领全国各族人民经过长期浴血奋战,建立中华人民共和国,制定了《中国人民政治协商会议共同纲领》和新中国第一部宪法,确立国家基本制度,为社会主义民主法制建设和中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成奠定了根本政治前提和制度基础。以邓小平同志为核心的党的第二代中央领导集体,深刻总结“文化大革命”的惨痛教训,在作出把党和国家工作重心转移到经济建设上来、实行改革开放历史性决策的同时,把加强社会主义民主法制建设作为坚定不移的方针确定下来,强调必须使社会主义民主制度化、法律化,使这种制度和法律不因领导人的改变而改变,不因领导人看法和注意力的改变而改变,做到有法可依,有法必依,执法必严,违法必究,开辟了社会主义民主法制建设蓬勃发展的新时期。以江泽民同志为核心的党的第三代中央领导集体,带领全党全国各族人民把改革开放伟大事业成功推向21世纪,不断丰富和发展了中国特色社会主义民主法制建设思想,第一次将依法治国确定为党领导人民治理国家的基本方略,把建设社会主义法治国家作为社会主义现代化建设的重要内容,并明确提出到2010年形成中国特色社会主义法律体系的立法工作目标,开启了社会主义民主法制建设的新阶段。党的十六大以来,以胡锦涛同志为总书记的党中央继往开来、与时俱进,在全面建设小康社会实践中坚定不移地把改革开放伟大事业继续推向前进,提出科学发展观的重大战略思想和构建社会主义和谐社会的重大战略任务,全面实施依法治国基本方略,强调发展社会主义民主政治最根本的是坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一,开创了社会主义民主法制建设的新局面。

形成中国特色社会主义法律体系,是各方面长期共同努力的结果。全国人大及其常委会认真履行宪法和法律赋予的职责,不断加强和改进立法工作,着力提高立法质量,为形成中国特色社会主义法律体系做了大量卓有成效的工作。国务院适应经济社会发展和法律实施的需要,依法及时制定行政法规,地方人大及其常委会结合本地实际,依法制定大量地方性法规,为形成中国特色社会主义法律体系作出了重要贡献。地方各级人民政府、各级人民法院和人民检察院以及军队等有关方面,广大人民群众和专家学者大力支持和积极参与立法工作,为形成中国特色社会主义法律体系贡献了智慧和力量。
二、认真总结形成中国特色社会主义法律体系的基本经验

党的十一届三中全会,从发展社会主义民主、健全社会主义法制的迫切需要出发,明确提出全国人大及其常委会应当把立法工作摆到重要议程上来,从此我国立法活动全面恢复并迅速展开。党的十五大,站在实行依法治国、建设社会主义法治国家的战略高度,明确提出到2010年形成中国特色社会主义法律体系的立法工作目标。党的十七大,强调要坚持科学立法、民主立法,完善中国特色社会主义法律体系,坚定不移地发展社会主义民主政治,对新时期立法工作提出了新的要求。改革开放30多年来,在党中央的领导下,我们成功走出了一条中国特色的立法路子。我们坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一,紧紧围绕党和国家工作大局,有计划、有重点、有步骤地开展立法工作,仅仅用几十年时间就形成了中国特色社会主义法律体系,立法任务之重世所罕见,克服困难之多前所未有,成绩来之不易,经验弥足珍贵。这当中最重要的经验有五条。

一是坚持党的领导。中国共产党是中国特色社会主义事业的领导核心。党的领导是人民当家作主和依法治国的根本保证,也是加强民主法制建设、做好立法工作的根本保证。党的领导主要是政治、思想和组织领导,通过制定大政方针,提出立法建议,推荐重要干部,进行思想宣传,发挥党组织和党员的作用,坚持依法执政,实施党对国家和社会的领导。我们的党代表最广大人民的根本利益,党制定的大政方针,提出的立法建议,凝聚了全党全国的集体智慧,体现了最广大人民的共同意愿。坚持党的领导同服从人民利益是完全一致的。在立法工作中,我们始终坚持党的领导,使党的主张经过法定程序成为国家意志,成为全社会一体遵循的行为规范和准则,从制度上、法律上保证党的路线方针政策的贯彻落实,保证改革开放和社会主义现代化建设的顺利进行。我们紧紧围绕党和国家中心任务统筹谋划立法工作,科学制定立法规划和立法计划,积极推进重点立法项目,保证党和国家重大决策部署的贯彻落实。对党中央提出的立法建议,及时启动立法程序,坚决贯彻中央意图,圆满完成中央交办的政治任务。对立法中遇到的重点难点问题,向党中央报告。总之,我们的一切法律法规都是在党的领导下制定的,我们制定的一切法律法规都必须有利于加强和改善党的领导,有利于巩固和完善党的执政地位,有利于保证党领导人民有效治理国家。

二是坚持以中国特色社会主义理论体系为指导。法律是实践证明正确的、成熟的、需要长期执行的党的路线方针政策的制度化、规范化和程序化。坚持正确的指导思想,是加强民主法制建设、做好立法工作的根本前提。中国特色社会主义理论体系是包括邓小平理论、“三个代表”重要思想以及科学发展观等重大战略思想在内的科学理论体系,是马克思主义中国化的最新成果,是我们党最可宝贵的政治和精神财富,是全国各族人民团结奋斗的共同思想基础,是必须长期坚持的指导思想,是我们做好一切工作的根本指针。在立法工作中,我们始终坚持以中国特色社会主义理论体系为指导,并以此统一思想认识、确定立法思路,在立法的指导思想上,我们始终把坚持四项基本原则同坚持改革开放结合起来,把坚持社会主义基本制度同发展市场经济结合起来,把推动经济基础变革同推动上层建筑改革结合起来,把提高效率同促进社会公平结合起来,把促进改革发展同保持社会稳定结合起来,把坚持独立自主同参与经济全球化结合起来,保证我们制定的法律法规有利于巩固和完善社会主义制度,有利于解放和发展社会生产力,有利于发挥社会主义制度的优越性。

三是坚持从中国国情和实际出发。法律属于上层建筑,是由经济基础所决定并为经济基础服务的。坚持从我国国情和实际出发,是加强民主法制建设、做好立法工作的客观要求。我国处于并将长期处于社会主义初级阶段,改革开放和社会主义现代化建设是在人口多、底子薄的基础上进行的,随着现代化建设事业的深入发展,我国经济社会呈现一系列新的阶段性特征,我们不仅要下大气力解决长期积累的深层次矛盾和问题,还要妥善应对发展面临的新情况新课题,改革发展稳定的任务极其繁重而艰巨。在立法工作中,我们始终坚持从我国国情和实际出发,把改革开放和社会主义现代化建设的伟大实践作为立法基础,紧紧围绕经济建设这个中心任务,紧紧围绕全面建设小康社会的奋斗目标,紧紧围绕推动科学发展和促进社会和谐开展立法工作。正确把握改革发展稳定的关系,妥善处理法律稳定性与实践变动性的关系,妥善处理法律前瞻性与可行性的关系,确保立法进程与改革开放和社会主义现代化建设进程相适应。对实践经验比较成熟的、各方面认识也比较一致的,规定得具体一些,增强法律的可操作性。对实践经验尚不成熟但现实中又需要法律进行规范的,先规定得原则一些,为引导实践提供规范和保障,并为深化改革留下空间,待条件成熟后再修改补充。对改革开放中遇到的一些新情况新问题,用法律来规范还不具备条件的,先依照法定权限制定行政法规和地方性法规,先行先试,待取得经验、条件成熟时再制定法律。我们还注意研究借鉴国外的立法经验,从中吸取那些对我们有益有用的东西,但绝不照抄照搬。各国的法律体系也不相同,我们不用西方某些国家的法律体系来套中国特色社会主义法律体系,外国法律体系中有的法律,但不符合我国国情和实际的,我们不搞;外国法律体系中没有的法律,但我国现实生活需要的,我们及时制定。

四是坚持以人为本、立法为民。体现人民共同意志、保障人民当家作主、维护人民根本利益,是中国特色社会主义法律体系的应有之义。坚持以人为本、立法为民,是加强民主法制建设、做好立法工作的根本目的。在立法工作中,我们始终坚持把实现好、维护好、发展好最广大人民的根本利益作为出发点和落脚点,无论在立法过程中还是在法律规范上都坚持以人为本,尊重人民主体地位,尊重人民首创精神,从人民的实践创造中汲取智慧,从人民的发展要求中获得动力。正确把握最广大人民根本利益、现阶段群众共同利益、不同群体特殊利益的关系,正确反映和统筹兼顾不同方面群众的利益,着力解决人民最关心最直接最现实的利益问题。正确处理权力与权利、权力与责任的关系,既赋予行政机关、审判机关、检察机关必要的权力,又注意对权力的行使加以规范、制约和监督,切实维护公民、法人和其他组织的合法权益。坚持走群众路线,深入推进科学立法、民主立法,不断扩大公民对立法的有序参与,充分发挥人大代表在立法中的作用,通过公布法律法规草案和举行立法座谈会、论证会、听证会等多种形式,广泛听取各方面意见尤其是基层群众的意见,切实做到集思广益、凝聚共识,使我们制定的法律法规充分体现人民群众的共同意愿,增强法律法规贯彻实施的群众基础。

五是坚持社会主义法制统一。坚持社会主义法制的统一,是加强民主法制建设、做好立法工作的内在要求。我国是统一的多民族的单一制国家。社会主义法制的统一,是维护国家统一、民族团结、社会稳定,建立统一的现代市场体系的基础。同时,我国地域辽阔,各地经济、文化、社会发展很不平衡,国家又处于深刻变革之中。这一基本国情,决定了国家实行统一而又分层次的立法体制,即在坚持全国人大及其常委会集中行使国家立法权的前提下,赋予国务院制定行政法规、省级人大及其常委会和较大市人大及其常委会制定地方性法规的权限,还赋予经济特区所在地制定经济特区法规的权限和民族自治地方制定自治条例、单行条例的权限。这样做,既维护了社会主义法制统一,又妥善照顾到各地区的特点和差异,充分调动了中央和地方两个积极性;既及时将改革开放中成熟的经验上升为法律,又为深化改革留下空间。我们始终坚持维护宪法作为国家根本法的权威地位,严格依照法定权限、遵循法定程序开展立法工作,在制定法律法规的同时,开展了对现行法律法规的集中清理工作,并加强对规范性文件备案审查,以保证法律、行政法规、地方性法规不同宪法相抵触,保证行政法规不同法律相抵触,保证地方性法规不同法律、行政法规相抵触,保证法律法规的规定之间衔接协调、不相互矛盾,保障了社会主义法制的统一。

三、深刻把握完善中国特色社会主义法律体系面临的新形势新任务

中国特色社会主义法律体系形成后,如何适应经济社会发展和社会主义民主法制建设的需要,继续加强立法工作,提高立法质量,完善中国特色社会主义法律体系,是摆在我们面前的一个重大课题。我们要坚持以往的成功经验和有效做法,统一认识,再接再厉,以饱满的政治热情和务实的工作作风,投身于建设社会主义法治国家的伟大实践,在新的起点上不断开创立法工作新局面。这里,我想强调三点。

第一点,立法工作任务依然艰巨而繁重。社会实践是法律的基础,法律是实践经验的总结。社会实践永无止境,立法工作也要不断推进。建设中国特色社会主义是一项长期的历史任务,完善中国特色社会主义法律体系也是一项长期的历史任务,必须随着中国特色社会主义实践的发展而发展。更何况中国特色社会主义法律体系本身就不是静止的、封闭的、固定的,而是动态的、开放的、发展的。新形势、新实践、新任务给立法工作提出了新的更高的要求。

这是因为:一是,我国正处在深刻变革的历史进程中,在前进的道路上会遇到这样或那样的新情况新问题,有些是可以预料的,有些是难以预料的,既要解决当前面临的突出问题,又要建立有利于科学发展的体制机制,改革发展稳定的任务依然艰巨,立法工作的任务不会减少,难度也不会降低。二是,我国经济社会发展已进入“十二五”时期,中央提出要牢牢抓住和用好重要战略机遇期,确保科学发展取得新的显著进步,确保转变经济发展方式取得实质性进展,我们的立法工作如何围绕“十二五”时期经济社会发展目标任务,从制度上、法律上推动中央重大决策部署的贯彻落实,有大量工作要做。三是,随着社会主义民主政治的深入发展,人民政治参与积极性不断提高,权利意识越来越强,利益诉求越来越具体,参与立法的愿望越来越高,这对做好立法工作提出了更高的要求。还要看到,我们的法律体系虽然已经形成,但本身并不是完美无缺的,这当中既有一些现行法律需要修改的问题,也有部分配套法规急需制定的问题,还有个别法律尚未出台的问题,这主要是由于立法条件尚不成熟、各方面的认识不尽一致,需要在实践中继续探索,积累经验。总之,立法工作只能加强不能削弱。因此,全国人大及其常委会要充分发挥最高国家权力机关的作用,依法行使国家立法权,加强对立法工作的组织协调,督促有关方面认真研究解决立法中涉及的重大问题,创新立法工作思路,完善立法工作机制,加强立法工作机构和队伍建设,不断提高立法工作的质量和水平。

第二点,把修改完善法律和制定配套法规摆在更加突出位置。我们的法律体系形成后,应当把更多的精力放到法律的修改完善上来,放到配套法规的制定修改上来,当然还要制定一些新的法律,以适应形势发展的需要,推动中国特色社会主义法律体系的与时俱进和发展完善。当前和今后一个时期,要着重做好三方面的工作。

一要更加注重法律的修改完善工作。随着经济社会的深入发展,现行法律的一些规定可能难以适应新形势,甚至可能阻碍经济社会的发展,需要及时修改完善。有的法律规定,当时搞得比较原则,实施一段时间后,经验不断积累,认识不断深化,有条件修改得更具体明确一些、操作性更强一些。还有,不同时期制定的法律所调整的社会关系可能相同或相近,需要在通盘研究的基础上对这些法律进行整合。因此,我们要高度重视法律的修改完善工作,这既是完善法律体系的内在要求,也是今后一个时期立法工作的重要任务。同时,要在总结试点经验基础上,积极开展立法后评估工作,通过多种形式,对法律制度的科学性、法律规定的可操作性、法律执行的有效性等作出客观评价,为修改完善法律、改进立法工作提供重要依据。另外,我们还要加强法律解释以及法律编纂、清理等工作。对法律规定需要进一步明确具体含义的、法律制定后出现新情况需要明确适用法律依据的,可以通过及时作出立法解释,赋予法律条文更加准确、更具针对性的内涵,这也是保证法律有效实施的重要工作。

二要督促有关方面抓紧法律配套法规的制定工作。行政法规和地方性法规作为中国特色社会主义法律体系的重要组成部分,是对法律的细化和补充,虽然有一些是创制性和先行先试的,但大量的是为法律配套的。我们已经建立督促制定法律配套法规的工作机制,希望有关方面高度重视、积极配合,按照法律规定的原则,在法规集中清理的基础上,抓紧制定现行法律的配套法规。今后凡新制定和新修改的法律,其配套法规要与法律草案同步起草,力争在法律通过后及时出台,以更好保障法律的有效实施。

三要继续做好法律制定工作。为适应经济社会发展的需要,要抓紧研究制定推进转变经济发展方式、保障和改善民生、维护社会和谐稳定、促进可持续发展等方面的法律。要认真总结行政法规的实施经验,将那些应当用法律规范来调整、立法条件比较成熟、各方面意见比较一致的,及时上升为法律。这里要指出的是,调整社会关系的手段是多种多样的,除法律法规外,还有市场机制、社会习惯、道德规范以及管理经验、科学技术等,并不是法律越多越好,能够用其他社会调整手段解决问题的,就不宜也不必通过立法去解决。

第三点,在科学立法民主立法方面迈出新步伐。完善中国特色社会主义法律体系,必须继续深入推进科学立法、民主立法,这不仅是人民当家作主的重要体现,也是提高立法质量的重要途径。中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成过程,是科学立法、民主立法不断深化的过程,是发扬社会主义民主的集中体现。改革开放初期,无法可依的问题相当突出,我们提出“有比没有好”、“快搞比慢搞好”,这是必要的,也是合理的。即使在这样的情况下,我们始终强调立法要坚持走群众路线,充分发扬民主,成熟一个就制定一个。30多年来,我们在科学立法、民主立法方面积累了许多有益经验,对提高立法质量发挥了十分重要的作用。我们要认真总结实践经验,深入推进科学立法、民主立法,着力提高立法质量,不断完善中国特色社会主义法律体系。

要积极探索公众有序参与立法的途径和形式,充分发挥听证会、论证会、座谈会的作用,广泛征求社会各方面尤其是基层群众的意见和建议,认真听取专家学者的意见和建议,努力提高立法调研的针对性和实效性,不断完善公布法律草案的工作机制,建立健全采纳公众意见的反馈机制,积极回应社会关切,切实增强公众参与立法的实效,使立法过程成为普法过程。要完善人大代表参与立法的工作机制,把办理代表议案建议同制定修改法律结合起来,把邀请代表参与常委会活动同提高法律草案起草和审议质量结合起来,认真研究吸收代表提出的意见和建议,充分发挥人大代表在立法工作中的作用。要不断完善法律草案起草过程中的沟通协调机制,充分发挥法律委员会统一审议和专门委员会审议的作用,调动各方面的积极性,共同做好立法工作。要科学合理地确定立法项目,建立健全立法项目论证制度。要不断提高法律草案审议质量,对于法律关系比较复杂、分歧意见较大的法律草案,采取积极慎重的态度,需要调研的深入调研,需要协商的反复协商,需要论证的充分论证,在各方面基本取得共识后再提请表决。要完善立法技术,统一法律的体例、结构、用语,使法律规定更加准确、精炼、规范。

这里,我还要强调一下法律实施的问题。法律的生命力在于实施。中国特色社会主义法律体系的形成,总体上解决了有法可依的问题,在这种情况下,有法必依、执法必严、违法必究的问题就显得更为突出、更加紧迫,这也是广大人民群众普遍关注、各方面反映强烈的问题。因此,我们要在继续加强立法工作的同时,采取积极有效措施,切实保障宪法和法律的有效实施。一要维护宪法和法律的权威和尊严。一切国家机关和武装力量、各政党和各社会团体、各企业事业组织都必须遵守宪法和法律,任何组织或者个人都不得有超越宪法和法律的特权,一切违反宪法和法律的行为必须予以追究。二要坚持依法行政和公正司法。国家行政机关要严格按照法定权限和程序办事,加快建设法治政府。国家审判机关、检察机关要依法独立公正行使审判权、检察权,维护社会公平正义。三要增强全社会的法律意识和法治观念。制定实施“六五”普法规划,深入开展社会主义法治理念教育,形成自觉学法守法用法的社会氛围。让各级领导干部和国家机关工作人员带头遵守宪法和法律,善于运用法律解决现实生活中的实际问题,让广大人民群众懂得依法按程序表达利益诉求、解决矛盾纠纷,用法律武器维护自身的合法权益。全国人大及其常委会要依法行使监督宪法和法律实施的重要职权,地方各级人大及其常委会要依法行使保证宪法、法律和行政法规在本行政区域内得到遵守和执行的重要职权,确保各国家机关把人民赋予的权力真正用来为人民谋利益。

形成中国特色社会主义法律体系成就辉煌,完善中国特色社会主义法律体系任重道远。让我们紧密团结在以胡锦涛同志为总书记的党中央周围,高举中国特色社会主义伟大旗帜,深入贯彻落实党的十七大精神,坚持党的领导、人民当家作主、依法治国有机统一,不辱使命,开拓进取,在新的起点上完善中国特色社会主义法律体系,为加强社会主义民主法制建设,实施依法治国基本方略,建设社会主义法治国家作出新的更大的贡献!

(这是吴邦国同志2011年1月24日在形成中国特色社会主义法律体系座谈会上的讲话。求是发表时作了个别修改,标题为求是编者所加。)

 

One thought on “The Major Significance and Basic Experience of Shaping a Socialist Legal System with Chinese Characteristics

    Latest Updates | China Copyright and Media said:
    May 11, 2013 at 10:58 am

    […] The Major Significance and Basic Experience of Shaping a Socialist Legal System with Chinese Charac… (2011) […]

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