“Article 14(2) of the INCHR Law states that the President may dismiss a member of the INCHR upon impeachment and conviction by the legislature, based on proven gross misconduct in a court of law for treason, bribery, misapplication of entrusted property or other felonies. Additionally, Article 43 of the Constitution of Liberia provides that the legislature shall prescribe a procedure for impeachment that is yet to be elaborated. 

In accordance with Article 14 (1) of the INCHR Law, a member of the INCHR can be removed from office on the ground of incapacity or inability to perform the duties of his/her office. The SCA notes that there is no requirement for objective and independent mechanisms to determine the ground of incapacity. Further, there is no specificity within the law on the procedure to be employed in coming to a resolution for the dismissal on the basis of inability to perform duties by a member. 

The INCHR reports that it has proposed amendments to its enabling law to elaborate on the impeachment process which would apply to the dismissal of INCHR members. 

In order to address the requirements for a stable mandate under the Paris Principles, 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. It should not be allowed based solely on the discretion of appointing authorities. The SCA is of the view that 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 reiterates its previous recommendation that the INCHR continue to advocate for the enactment of a law that prescribes the impeachment process of its members. The SCA also recommends that the INCHR advocate for amendments to its law that outline an independent and objective procedure for the removal of its members on the ground of incapacity and inability to fulfil duties. 

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.’”