The Constitution of the PRC guarantees the basic rights and interests of citizens, including the right to vote and stand for election; freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration; freedom of religious belief; the inviolability of the freedom of the person, the personal dignity and the residences; freedom and privacy of correspondence; the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state agency or functionary and exercise supervision; the right to work and rest and the right to material assistance from the state and society when they are old, ill or disabled; and the right to receive education and freedom to engage in scientific research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural pursuits.
China's legal system includes laws of seven categories: the Constitution and related laws, civil and commercial laws, administrative laws, economic laws, social laws, criminal laws, and litigation and non-litigation procedural laws. By the end of 2002, more than 430 laws and legal decisions had been made by the NPC and its Standing Committee, over 1,000 administrative laws and regulations made by the State Council, and more than 10,000 local laws and regulations made by local people's congresses, covering political, economic and social fields. A comparatively complete legal system is now basically in place in China. At the end of 2002, a draft of the Civil Law Code was formally submitted to the Standing Committee of the NPC for deliberation. Formulated on the basis of the existing 60-odd civil laws and regulations, the Civil Law Code has more than 1,200 articles. The second volume of the Code, Laws of Real Right, gives specific stipulations on proprietary rights of individuals in addition to those of the state and of the collective. For instance, it stipulates state protection of private savings, investment and the profits acquired therefrom. Thus, it will become the first law in the PRC specifically safeguarding private property.
Supreme People's Court
The Supreme People's Court is the highest judiciary agency in China, responsible to the NPC and its Standing Committee. The Supreme People's Court is established at the state level; higher people's courts are established in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities; and intermediate and basic people's courts at lower levels. The Supreme People's Court supervises the judicial work of the local people's courts, military courts and other special courts. The current President of the Supreme People's Court is Xiao Yang, re-elected President of the Supreme People's Court at the First Session of the 10th NPC on March 16, 2003.
Supreme People's Procuratorate
The Supreme People's Procuratorate, accountable to the NPC and its Standing Committee, is the highest supervisory agency of the legal system mainly responsible for supervising regional procuratorates, and state agencies of legal supervision that exercise procuratorial authority. Procuratorates examine cases scheduled for investigation by the public security agencies to decide on whether a suspect should be arrested or not, and whether a case should be prosecuted. They institute and support public prosecution in criminal cases; and oversee the activities of the public security and state security agencies, people's courts, prisons, houses of detention and reform-through-labor institutions. The Procurator-General is Jia Chunwang.