“In accordance with article 3 of the Law, membership of the CNDH includes two (2) members appointed by the National Assembly with voting rights.
The SCA acknowledges that the CNDH reports that these members are not Members of Parliament or political representatives, but rather are experts appointed by Parliament. The SCA further acknowledges that the CNDH reports that it has proposed that these members participate without voting rights.
However, the SCA is of the view that the current provision in the Law is not sufficient clear.
The SCA emphasises that 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 the strategic priorities and activities of the NHRI based solely on its determination of the human rights priorities in the country, and 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 the real and perceived independence of the NHRI.
The SCA recognizes that it is important to maintain effective working relationships, and where relevant, 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, or representatives of government agencies, are included in the decision-making body, the NHRI’s legislation should clearly indicate that such persons participate only in an advisory capacity. In order to further promote independence in decision-making, and avoid conflicts of interest, an NHRI’s rules of procedure should establish practices to ensure that such persons are unable to inappropriately influence decision-making by, for example, excluding them from attending parts of meetings where final deliberations and strategic decisions are made.”