A blueprint by the National People's Congress contains proposals for civil laws, including protection of property A range of new draft bills will be tabled to the mainland's legislature over the next five years in a move expected to strengthen the public's legal rights in a wide range of areas. Wang Peiying, head of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Secretariat, told Outlook magazine that the 10th NPC, which runs until 2008, had completed drafting its legislative plan. The blueprint, which includes 43 draft bills, will be published in October. Thirteen of the draft bills are earmarked for review this year and 30 will be submitted from next year. The bills earmarked for this year - including laws on identity cards, controls on radioactive pollution, and port and harbour management - were recently approved by the NPC Standing Committee. Others scheduled to be discussed in the 10th NPC session include civil laws on property rights, banking and trading. According to Mr Wang, a bill on property rights will probably be given priority by the Standing Committee. Mainland legal experts attach great importance to the preparation of the Civil Law Code. The canon will combine a number of key civil legislations on property rights and commerce to form a major component of the country's laws. Also included in this year's agenda is draft legislation on how to strengthen the juror system, Mr Wang revealed. The proposed legislation on the juror system was originally put forward in the 9th NPC but was withdrawn in October last year. The 9th NPC ended in March. According to the report in Outlook, the Supreme People's Court revised the draft bill after taking into account of suggestions by the NPC Standing Committee, and the revised bill on the juror system has been included in the committee's legislative plan for this year. Unlike systems in western democratic countries, the juror system on the mainland mainly focuses on assessment of judges to curb corruption within the judiciary. Mr Wang said a timetable had not yet been set for the drafting of bills on the Supervision Law, which governs the supervision of government officials. The 30 bills earmarked to be tabled at a later stage, including those on bankruptcy, agriculture, energy and preservation of folk culture, are now being drafted by various NPC committees. Mr Wang said the five-year legislative plan was intended to address the most urgent needs of the country, such as those linked to finance and the economy, those related to China's obligations as a member of the World Trade Organisation and the everyday needs of the public. Mr Wang said the arrangement of the five-year plan would be flexible and subject to amendments from time to time according to the needs of society. Wang Chenguang, a legal expert at Peking University in Beijing, said he believed that the protection of human and economic rights should be the priority for legislation in order to address pressing social concerns. He cited the recent violent death of graphic designer Sun Zhigang in police custody in Guangzhou, which sent shockwaves across the country. Laws on social security, medical insurance, rights to migration and education rights as well as those encoding property rights and dealing with anti-trust, bankruptcy and tax should be dealt with at the NPC as a matter of urgency, while laws to limit the abuse of power by the government should also take priority, he said. 'If we don't have a complete set of laws, then it's extremely difficult to develop our national economy,' he said. However, there probably will not be enough time for the NPC to discuss and pass all 13 bills by the end of the year, he warned.