After 12 Years, Law Knocks Down Forced Demolitions

China Daily reports the passage of a law, twelve years in the making, designed to rein in the use of “coercive measures” such as forced demolition by authorities.

China previously had at least 260 types of administrative coercive measure in place, according to research conducted in 1999 as the drafting of the law started.

“And the random institution of such measures was very common in local regulations,” Xin [Chunying, deputy director of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee] said ….

Ying Songnian, one of the legal experts on the drafting panel, told China Daily the passage of the law to “curb administrative power” faced unusual difficulties ….

“The final version, compared with the first draft, is more strict on when the government can set coercive measures,” said Zhan Zhongle, a professor of administrative law at Peking University. “You can imagine how difficult it could be to reach such an agreement among lawmakers and local governments.”

As one of the most long-awaited laws in China’s legal history and as one that won a high number of votes among lawmakers, Zhan said the interest in the law shows the public’s expectations of the government to improve its way of social management.