Friday, March 8, 2024

James WC Lee on Anti-Corruption in a Party-State: Constitutional Implications of China's Supervisory Reform (Asian Journal of Comparative Law)

"Anti-Corruption in a Party-State: Constitutional Implications of China's Supervisory Reform"
James WC Lee (HKU Undergraduate Research Fellowship Programme)
Asian Journal of Comparative Law Volume 18 , Issue 3 , pp. 389 - 406
Published in December 2023

Abstract: The 2018 amendments to the People's Republic of China (PRC) Constitution saw the establishment of a system of supervisory commissions, which is a landmark development not only for anti-corruption, but also constitutional law in China. After providing an overview of the background and legal framework of the reform, this article discusses its constitutional implications from three perspectives. First, the reform alters the long-established state structure and creates interesting dynamics of institutional interactions among various branches of state structure. Second, it marks a reversal from the principle of ‘party-state separation’ and raises difficult issues of interface and transition between the party disciplinary system and the formal legal system. Finally, it legalises the previously extralegal practice of shuanggui (‘double specifications’) and affects the individual rights of those subject to investigation. The article concludes with some brief reflections on what this development indicates for the future of the rule of law in China, and highlights the potential for further research.

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