“The SCA notes that the ground for Parliament to initiate a no-confidence vote is not explicit in Article 9 (1) of the enabling law nor is such ground specified in the Seimas Statute. The SOO reported that while this provision has never been invoked since the establishment of the institution, consistent efforts and active advocacy have been undertaken by the SOO to call on the legislature to clarify Article 9 (1) or remove it from the Law.

The SCA highlights that the grounds for dismissal must be clearly defined and appropriately confined to those actions that impact adversely on the capacity of the members to fulfil the institution’s 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 the appointing authorities.

The SCA is of the view that such requirements, enshrined in the law, ensure the security of tenure of members of the decision-making body and are essential to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the senior leadership of an NHRI.

The SCA encourages the SOO to continue to advocate for amendments to its enabling law to provide for an independent and objective dismissal process including by providing express criteria on the no-confidence vote against the Ombudsperson or to remove this ground for dismissal.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.3 and to its General Observation 2.1 on ‘Guarantee of tenure for members of the NHRI decision-making body.’”