“In accordance with Article 16 of the Law, membership in the CNDH can be terminated by: a) the expiry of the term of the member; b) resignation; c) unjustified absence at three consecutive plenary assembly meetings; d) loss of membership under which he/she was elected; e) conviction for crime or voluntary offence; f) death; and g) serious and repeated act or behaviour inconsistent with his/her obligations. For cases covered by c), e) and g), the dismissal is decided by the absolute majority of the CNDH plenary assembly.

The SCA is of the view that the dismissal process currently enshrined in the Law is not sufficiently independent, as it is at the sole discretion of the plenary assembly and is not decided by an independent authority.

The SCA is of the view that in order to address the Paris Principles requirements for a stable mandate, which is important in reinforcing independence, the enabling legislation of an NHRI must contain an independent and objective dismissal process, similar to that accorded to members of other independent State agencies.

The grounds for dismissal must be clearly defined and appropriately confined to only those actions which impact adversely on the capacity of the member to fulfil their mandate. Where appropriate, the legislation should specify that the application of a particular ground must be supported by a decision of an independent body with appropriate jurisdiction. The dismissal must be made in strict conformity with all the substantive and procedural requirements as prescribed by law. Dismissal should not be allowed based solely on the discretion of appointing authorities.

Such requirements ensure the security of tenure of the members of the governing body and are essential to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the senior leadership of an NHRI.

The SCA encourages the CNDH to advocate for amendments to the law to ensure an independent and objective dismissal process.”