China Daily Commentary Decries Unlawful Local Government Decrees

November 17, 2004

According to a China Daily commentary published on November 16, a recent investigation of Anhui province uncovered more than 110 unlawful provincial directives. Local governments in China often flout central government laws and regulations or exceed their own power in issuing local rules. The commentary argues that legal restraints are necessary to check unlawful local government acts and notes (positively) proposals to amend the Administrative Litigation Law (ALL) to give citizens the right to challenge the legality of local directives in court. Currently under the ALL, citizens may only challenge the legality of “concrete administrative acts,” or administrative decisions that affect them individually (such as a decision to grant or deny a license), not the legality of regulations and policies themselves.