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China Enacts Criminal Law Amendment (XII)

Wed, 22 May 2024
Categories: China Legal Trends



On 29 Dec. 2023, the Seventh Session of the Standing Committee of the Fourteenth National People’s Congress (NPC) of China passed the Amendment (XII) to the Criminal Law.

This amendment mainly covers two aspects:

First, it strengthens the punishment for the crime of bribery.

The NPC believes that in China’s anti-corruption efforts, the following problems exist with respect to bribery: (1) the significant imbalance exists between the number of bribery cases and that of bribe-taking cases; (2) a high proportion of bribers are not prosecuted for criminal liabilities; (3) the problem of lenient punishment for bribery still exists. The NPC believes that this is not conducive to cracking down on the crime of bribery and accepting bribes. Therefore, the NPC believes that criminal accountability should be strengthened in serious bribery cases.

Second, it aims to protect private enterprises by increasing the punishment for bribery within them.

The Criminal Law contains provisions on corruption crimes related to state-owned companies and enterprises, but such provisions are not applicable to private enterprises. The NPC considers that this is detrimental to the protection of property rights of private enterprises and entrepreneurs’ rights and interests. Therefore, this Amendment to the Criminal Law adds crimes related to the intentional breach of trust by employees of private enterprises to damage the interests of enterprises.

China’s Criminal Law was enacted in 1997, and the first amendment, Amendment (I) to the Criminal Law, was promulgated in 1999. To date, the latest amendment is Amendment (XII) to the Criminal Law enacted this time.





Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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