“The Act provides that members shall hold office for a period not exceeding five years determined by the President of Ireland, on the advice of the Government. The SCA notes that the Act is silent on the minimum period that each member may hold office, except for those persons appointed on the day of IHREC establishment. In practice, the IHREC reports that, with the exception of the first appointment, all members so far have been appointed for five-year terms.

An appropriate minimum term of appointment is crucial in promoting the independence of the membership of the NHRI, and to ensure the continuity of its programs and services. An appointment period of three (3) years is considered to be the minimum that would be sufficient to achieve these aims. As a proven practice, the SCA encourages that a term between three (3) and seven (7) years with the option to renew once be provided for in the NHRI’s enabling law.

While acknowledging that in practice all members of the IHREC appointed after the establishment day were appointed for five-year terms, the SCA encourages the IHREC to advocate for amendment to its enabling law to provide for a fixed minimum term of appointment for members of the Commission.”