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Enrichment of the Scope of Government Information Disclosure and Enhancement of Human Rights Protective Functions
June 18,2015   By:CSHRS
Enrichment of the Scope of Government Information Disclosure and Enhancement of Human Rights Protective Functions
 
ZHAO  Zhengqun*
 
Abstract: Since 2007, with its duty as a competent authority, the State Council has issued about ten official documents to guide and supervise government information publicity around the whole country. These documents, pursuant to Government Information Publicity Regulations of the PRC, have transformed a steady and prudent disclosure into a more focused and comprehensive one. The awareness of the value of human rights protection embodied in those documents has also evolved from an evasive attitude into one that acknowledges the significant role of the publicity in promoting citizens’ rights to know, to participate in and to supervise the process of decision making, as well as in contributing to building a government which is innovative, impartial and ruled by law. Meanwhile, these documents have, theoretically and practically, exceeded the instructions regulated in Government Information Publicity Regulations of the PRC, a challenge on further construction and development of Chinese government information publicity system under the guidance of the Third Plenary Session of the Eighteenth CPC Central Committee.
 
Keywords:  government information disclosure      human rights protection       China
 
In accordance with the Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information (hereinafter referred to as the Regulation) and hands-on experience in carrying out the Regulation over six years, and with an array of documents as clues, which have been released since 2007 by the competent department designated by the General Office of the State Council (hereinafter referred to as the General Office) to be in charge of advancing, guiding, coordinating and supervising the countrywide government information disclosure work,1 this paper deals with the continuous enrichment and widening of the scope of Chinese government information disclosure in recent years, as well as deals with the constant improvement of human rights protective functions, for the deliberation of people of all walks of life who pay close attention to the construction and development of the government information disclosure system and the government human rights guarantee system in China.
 
I. Constant Enrichment of the Scope of Government Information Disclosure in China
 
Experience and logic both prove that determining the scope of disclosure in an appropriate way is a top priority to be achieved for the successful establishment and effective implementation of the government information disclosure system. Through the study of nearly 10 documents released by the General Office for guiding and supervising government information disclosure work after the Regulation was formulated in April 2007, it is not difficult to find that the General Office has gradually enriched and even expanded the scope of government information disclosure in accordance with the implementation procedures encompassed in the Regulation. Firstly, this paper tries to call all three documents released by the General Office during 2007-2010 the initial period for implementing the Regulation, or the period for prudently advancing government information disclosure work, because seven work tasks laid down in the Circular on Doing Good Preparatory Work for the Implementation of the Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information, known as the GUOBANFA [2007] No. 54 Document, are all fundamental work tasks for the implementation of the Regulation, touching hardly on the scope of government information disclosure. Nevertheless, among tge seven main work tasks mapped out in the Views of the General Office of the State Council on Issues Concerning the Implementation of the Regulation of the People’s Republic of China on the Disclosure of Government Information, known as the GUOBANFA [2008] No. 36 Document, at least four have given rigorous or limited explanation of the scope of government information disclosure.
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