Change of mandates of the political-legal committee - Analysis of the Political-Legal Work Directive Part 3

Change of mandates of the political-legal committee
- Analysis of the Political-Legal Work Directive Part 3

Ling Li
University of Vienna
(Twitter: @lingli_vienna)

22 Jan. 2019



I am not aware of or have come across any written document that lays down specifically what kind of legal affairs that should be overseen by the Party Committee, prior to the Political-Legal Work Directive (the Directive) just issued now . So it is difficult to ascertain what has changed regarding the supervisory scope of the Party Committee in relation to the work of its Political-Legal Committee (PLC), i.e. what matters a PLC is required to seek for approval and/or report to a corresponding Party Committee.

I have not come across any written document that specifies the mandates of the Central Party Political-Legal Committee in relation to courts, procuratorates and other political-legal institutions either. It is very likely that there was one but it was classified. HOWEVER, one can find a lot of local regulations which usually mirror the central regulation. So I pulled out a regulation of Fulu county in Yunan (no long available online) and juxtaposed it with Article 12 of the PLW Directive (see below).

Setting aside variations of expressions, discoursal repackaging, etc., we can find the following key differences:

Newly added mandates:

1.       Responsibility to improve and implement Political (Periodic) Training and Political Inspection activities. Art. 12 (1)

2.       Responsibility to implement the decisions and instructions from the decision-making bodies on National Security. Art. 12 (8)

3.       Responsibility to gather and analysis intelligence on public opinion regarding political-legal affairs. Art. 12 (9)

Disappeared mandates

1.       To oversee the handling of individual high-profile and high-stake cases. (depending on how you want to interpret the language of the new PLW direction, some of the provisions can be understood or would in fact be operationalized in the way that this practice will continue. But from the face of the Directive, the PLC shall no longer take on a hands-on approach to oversee the handling of individual cases.

2.       To assist the corresponding party committee and its personnel department to vet and appoint political-legal cadres. Again, depending on how you interpret Art. 12(6) of the new Directive, it can be understood that the PLC still holds some power/responsibility over political-legal personnel but from the face of the Directive, that power has been weakened. 




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