Reverse Law-making: Constitutional Review with Chinese Characteristics

Around the globe, constitutional review is normally performed in a confrontational or hostile environment, where the reviewing organ, be it a court, or an institute in other forms, usually nullifies an unconstitutional legislation to uphold the authority of the supreme law of a specific jurisdiction. By contrast, the National People's Congress Standing Committee, the de facto top legislature in China has applied a more cooperative, and constructive approach while exercising the constitutional review power. The Chinese story tells us that a workable and sustainable review mechanism shall be established and kept by situating itself in the macro-political eco-system, by taking into account all the stakeholders' concerns and interests. This, however, is a universal rule.