During the session
The process undertaken by the SCA is the same for each NHRI under review.
The staff member of the Secretariat who prepared the summary provides an overview of the NHRI’s application, including any potential issues of concern the Secretariat has identified. Members and observers are provided an opportunity to ask questions.
Additional information may be provided, as needed. This may include an overview of the domestic context in which the NHRI is operating and information about any activities that OHCHR has undertaken with the NHRI. SCA members and observers are provided with an opportunity to ask questions.
The SCA Chair will then ask the Regional Network representative and the representative of GANHRI Head Office to provide information about their knowledge of and work with the NHRI under review, as well as any relevant national, regional or international context.
Following these verbal reports, the members will develop a list of questions to ask the NHRI during the interview. These questions will generally relate to issues raised in the NHRI’s application that require further clarification or those that have not been addressed fully by the NHRI in its Statement of Compliance.
It is the practice of the SCA to also ask the NHRI under review whether there are any recommendations that the SCA could make that would assist the NHRI in strengthening their institution.
In all cases where the SCA wishes to rely on information that is adverse to the NHRI under review, and to which the NHRI has not yet been provided an opportunity to respond, the SCA will raise this information in the interview and provide the NHRI with an opportunity to respond.
Interviews are conducted by telephone only. This is to ensure that the process is fair for all NHRIs and does not favour those who have greater resources, or are geographically closer to Geneva, the SCA permits interviews only by telephone.
The working language of the SCA is English. However, NHRIs may be interviewed in another of the GANHRI languages – French, Spanish or Arabic – should they choose, and their answers will be translated to English following the interview, for the benefit of those SCA members who do not speak the chosen language.
NHRIs under review are encouraged to use a local interpreter fluent in English and the local/national language so that they can both speak in the language in which they are most comfortable during the interview and best ensure that members of the SCA are able to fully understand their responses to questions.
Based on all the information available to them, including the responses provided by the NHRI during the interview, the members will deliberate until a decision is reached. The SCA makes every effort to reach its decisions by consensus. Where this is not possible, decisions may be made by a vote of three members. In the rare circumstance where a vote is tied and further deliberation is unlikely to result in a decision, the SCA Chairperson has the deciding vote.