“The DPP enabling law does not explicitly mandate the institution to encourage ratification of and accession to regional and international human rights instruments.

The SCA acknowledges that the DPP reports to undertake these functions in practice. The SCA encourages the DPP to advocate for an explicit mandate to encourage ratification of or accession to regional and international human rights instruments. Encouraging ratification of, or accession to regional and international human rights instruments, and the effective implementation of international instruments to which the state is a party, is a key function of an NHRI.

The Paris Principles further prescribe that NHRIs should promote and encourage the harmonization of national legislation, regulations and practices with these instruments.

The SCA considers it important that these duties form an integral part of the enabling legislation of an NHRI. The SCA refers to Paris Principle A.3 and to its General Observation 1.3 on “Encouraging ratification or accession to international human rights instruments”.”

“As per Article 25 of the Constitution and Article 5 of the Law, the Defensor and the Deputy Defensor can be impeached for (i) poor performance of their duties, (ii) offences committed in the exercise of their duties, or (iii) common crimes.

 The DPP reports that the spirit of Article 25 of the Constitution is to hold senior public officials accountable in the exercise of their mandates. The DPP states that the Defensor is immovable from his position, as are the High Court Judges, the President, and Vice-president of the Republic.

The SCA is of the view that, in order to address the Paris Principles requirement for a stable mandate, which is important in reinforcing independence, the enabling legislation of an NHRI must contain an independent and objective dismissal process. The dismissal must be made in conformity with all the substantive and procedural requirements prescribed by law.

The SCA recommends that the DPP advocate for an explicit provision on the dismissal process of the Defensor in its enabling law. Such requirements ensure the security of tenure of the members of the governing body and are essential to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the senior leadership of an NHRI.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.3 and to its General Observation 2.1 on ‘Guarantee of tenure for members of the NHRI decision-making body’.”