Before the session

All information provided by an NHRI under review – including the Statement of Compliance and supporting documentation – is made available to SCA members soon after it is received by the Secretariat, via a private web portal to which only members and permanent observers have access.

All members attending the session are to provide to the Secretariat, in writing, the names and titles of those participating on its behalf at least 30 days before the session. This information is posted by the Secretariat on the SCA website at least 28 days before the beginning of the session.

Where an NHRI under review feels that a member of the SCA attending the session has a real or perceived conflict of interest, it is to inform the Secretariat in writing at least 21 days before the SCA session. The Secretariat will then forward the correspondence to the GANHRI Chairperson. The final decision on whether a real or perceived conflict of interest exists is decided by the GANHRI Bureau at least seven days before the SCA session.

The SCA may receive information from multiple sources related to an application for accreditation or re-accreditation. This can include publicly available information and information provided by third-party sources, such as civil society organisations. This information assists the SCA to assess the performance of an NHRI and its compliance with the Paris Principles.

There may be publicly available information about an NHRI that is relevant to the review of their application. This can include:

  • Observations and recommendations of the international human rights system, including the Universal Periodic Review, treaty bodies and special procedures mandate holders
  • Observations and recommendations of regional human rights mechanisms
  • Press releases and other documents issued by the NHRI itself.

Because this information is publicly available, an NHRI under review is expected to be aware of its existence. As such, it will not generally be forwarded to the NHRI for a response prior to the relevant SCA session. However, it may be the subject of questions during the interview at the review session.

Other sources of publicly available information may not reasonably be known to an NHRI under review. This can include:

  • Media reports
  • Public reports from civil society or other published sources.

Where information contained in these documents gives rise to concerns, the SCA will ensure that the information is provided to the NHRI under review as soon as practicable. The NHRI is not required to formally respond to this information in writing, but will be given a chance to do so during the interview.

The Secretariat may, from time to time, receive other submissions in relation to the review of a particular NHRI. This can include:

  • Third-party submissions addressed to the SCA or GANHRI bodies by civil society organisations or individuals
  • Official, non-public notes from special procedure mandate holders.

In order to ensure procedural fairness, this information will be sent to the NHRI concerned prior to the SCA session so there is an opportunity to respond to the issues identified. The NHRI may wish to respond in writing, however this is not mandatory as the NHRI will have the opportunity to respond during the interview.

The Secretariat prepares a summary of all information that is relevant to the accreditation of the NHRI under review. This summary also includes information contained in the reports, recommendations or observations of international human rights mechanisms. The summary is provided to the NHRI under review prior to being distributed to members. The NHRI under review is provided with one week to review the summary and correct any factual errors by providing their comments to the Secretariat in writing. The Secretariat will then post the summary, along with the NHRI’s unedited response, on the SCA members’ web portal.

The Secretariat also prepares a programme of work for each session, based on the arrangements it has made with each NHRI under review as to the date and time when they will be considered. This programme is distributed to SCA members and observers prior to the session.