Constitutional Review in Action?: the Current Developments of the NPCSC’s Record and Review Mechanism

Is China’s constitutional review in action? It shall be answered from two perspectives: normative and practical. The Chinese Constitution authorized the NPC and NPCSC to supervise constitutional enforcement. However, this supervision did not run routinely. There is no special mechanism of constitutional review in China. It is embedded in the NPCSC’s mechanism of Record and Review. In 2017, the first work report on this mechanism was delivered. A dual-track approach of “Request-Recommendation” was established in the Legislative Law 2000. However, it remained in a dormant state for 15 years. The 2015 revision is a turning point because it required the NPCSC to give the response to those who submitted the recommendation. In 2017, constitutional review was mentioned directly in the 19th Congress of CCP. It can be expected that the Record and Review will benefit from the development of constitutional review; and the mechanism will do help to achieve constitutional review.