UNDP sponsored a five-year project, conducted in conjunction with Boston University School of Law, to draft 22 priority laws listed in the 1989 National Plan. The project worked through the Bureau of Legislative Affairs (BLA, the drafting arm of the State Council, the equivalent of Cabinet) to achieve major institutional change of the economic system as part of Reform and Open Policy.
In-country participants included sixty to seventy ministerial staff and BLA members. Fifty participants also completed the four-month Residence Program during the first two years of the project. Six additional drafters participated in the Residence Program the next year to draft social security legislation, while two participants in the Residence Program prepared to establish an ongoing training program. Senior-level buy-in became instrumental, but developed according to senior officials’ concerns, rather than through project participants’ recommendations.
Participants went on independently to organize and lead ongoing workshops for government training purposes. Although they did not mandate systematic use of legislative problem-solving theory and methodology, senior-level governmental officials agreed that facts and reason should be used to back up draft laws.
Discussion continued regarding the formation of Academic Programs in universities, and a Center for interdisciplinary research attached to the BLA. Certified Trainers and local partners recommended that BLA and UNDP begin planning this second phase of the project to ensure institutionalization and consolidation of lessons learned.
BLA published Chinese-language books on drafting, which included suggestions from the project’s Chinese partners and alumni. These recommendations included increased focus on practical research skills, problem-solving, the use of facts and logic, and the behavioral analysis that comprise part of the legislative problem-solving theory and methodology. The books also included information on the comparative use of foreign law and descriptions of the 22 priority laws of the project. Interested Chinese partners arranged the translation and publication of the Manual for Drafters.
A Law on Legislation was passed to regulate the processes for researching, drafting, enacting and implementing legislation.
Agricultural Technology Extension
Auction Law (Commodities Trade Law/Companies Law)
Central Banking Law
Commercial Banking Law
Consumer Rights Protection
Enterprise Group Regulations
Financing Social Insurance
Foreign Investment for Mining
Health Care Insurance Reform
Nature Protection Zones
Regulations on Clearing Accounts of Foreign Investment Enterprises
Retirement Pension System
Revised Provisional Regulations on Procedures for Enactment of Administrative Regulations
Rules for Drafting and Reviewing Bills and Regulations
Social Insurance Agency
Wild Plant Protection