Top Ten Laws and Regulations of 2012

The Public Opinion Research Centre of Legal Daily (Fazhi ribao 法制日报) compiled a list of the laws and regulations that garnered the greatest public attention in 2012. The list included the Centre’s one-line assessments.

Revisions of the Criminal Procedure Law
A step forward in the protection of human rights.

New Traffic Rules
Many violations receive harsher penalties.

The Law and Underage Prostitution Cases
Continued debate over whether to scrap this legislation. [In 1997, the criminal law was revised so that the keeping of underaged girls in brothels was specified as a crime, thus making it distinct from the crime of rape. Various scholars have since maintained that this distinction lessens the punishment associated with running brothels with underaged girls. [See also Leading Sex and Gender Stories in the Forum ‘Tiny Times for Women’ – Eds.]

Traffic police in Gansu province. Source: Beijing Patrol/securityguard

Traffic police in Gansu province.
Source: Beijing Patrol/securityguard

Revisions to Intellectual Property Law
Increased compensation for infringements.

Revisions to Funeral Management Regulations
Forced removal of graves by local governments is criminalised; positive encouragement [for families to agree to relocation or cremation – Eds.] to be used instead.

Revisions to Labour Contract Law
Standardisation [of labour laws] introduced for casual labourers.

School Bus Safety Regulations
School buses now enjoy privileged right of way.

Four Imperatives
Legal Daily also listed four pieces of proposed legislation that the public most wanted to see passed:

  • protection of citizens’ private information: Internet legislation imperative
  • tourism industry in chaos: market standardisation imperative
  • concerns over [the incidental punishment of] good deeds: good samaritan legislation required
  • rebuilding credibility: a charity law [to regulate the operation of charities] is urgently needed.

Revisions to the Environmental Protection Law
Increased attention to public interest litigation.

Domestic Violence Law
Urgent need for rules to protect women against violence.

Feedback Solicited on a Draft Food Law
Genetically modified food a focal point.