“The SCA notes that currently one member of the JNCHR’s Board of Trustees is a member of parliament, and that member has voting rights.

The Paris Principles require that an NHRI be independent of government in its composition, operation, and decision-making. It must be constituted and empowered to consider and determine its strategic priorities and activities based solely on its determination of the human rights priorities in the country, free from political interference.

For these reasons, government representatives and members of parliament should not be members of, nor participate in, the decision-making organs of an NHRI. Their membership of, and participation in, the decision-making body of the NHRI has the potential to impact on both the real and perceived independence of the NHRI.

The SCA recognizes that it is important to maintain effective working relationships, and where relevant, to consult with government. However, this should not be achieved through the participation of government representatives in the decision-making body of the NHRI.

Where government representatives or members of parliament are included in the decision-making body, they should be excluded from attending parts of the meeting where final deliberations and strategic decisions are made, and they should not be able to vote on these matters.

The SCA reiterates its previous recommendation made in November 2016 and encourages the JNCHR to advocate for the necessary changes in its governance structure and accordingly amend the law.”