“In accordance with Article 10 of the 2010 Decree Law (no. 17), termination of a member is effected by an Emiri Decree upon a proposal of the NHRC for reasons which include performing “an act contrary to the objectives of the NHRC or that would disrupt the performance of its duties and terms of reference” and “a disability which may prevent the member from performing the duties of his membership”.

The SCA is of the view that:

– the initial ground of termination is not appropriately defined and could be open for misuse; and

– the latter ground should require the determination of an incapacity by an appropriate independent medical professional or tribunal.

Further, the SCA notes that the exact procedure for dismissal is not outlined in the Decree Law or the broader enabling legal framework and has not been established in practice.

The SCA reiterates its recommendations from 2009 and 2015 that, in order to address the requirement for a stable mandate, which is important in reinforcing independence, the enabling law of a 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 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 to be based solely on the discretion of the appointing authorities.

The SCA is of the view that such requirements 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 a NHRI.”