“Article 10 Bis of the Law provided that “the competent investigative authority shall inform the National Council for Human Rights and the House of Representatives of the arrest or detention of any member of the Council, with a detailed statement of the incident”. The SCA notes that this provision does not provide protection for criminal and civil liability for actions undertaken in good faith by the members and staff of the NCHR.
The SCA is of the view that providing members of the NHRI’s decision-making body and staff protection from both criminal and civil liability for actions undertaken in good faith in their official capacity protects them from individual legal proceedings from anyone who objects to a decision or action of the NHRI.
The NCHR is of the view that Article 2.14 of the Constitution, which guarantees the independence of the NCHR, is sufficient to provide functional immunity. The SCA also notes that the current proposed amendments to the NCHR Law would provide for stronger immunities of membership while performing their duties. Therefore, the SCA encourages the NCHR to continue to advocate for amendments to its enabling law to explicitly provide protections from civil and criminal liability for official actions undertaken in good faith.
The SCA refers to Paris Principles B.3 and its General Observation 2.3 on ‘Protection from criminal and civil liability for official actions and decisions undertaken in good faith.’”