“The SCA notes that, while Article 241(e) of the Constitution provides that the annual report of the HRCZ is submitted to the National Assembly, section 25 of the enabling Law requires that the HRCZ’s annual report is first submitted to the President, who then submits it to the National Assembly. The SCA further notes that there has been a substantial delay in the publication of the HRCZ’s annual reports. These issues were raised during the SCA’s November 2016 review of the HRCZ.

The SCA stresses the importance of an NHRI preparing, publicizing and widely distributing an annual report on its national situation with regard to human rights in general, and on more specific matters. This report should include an account of the activities undertaken by the NHRI to further its mandate during that year and should state its opinions, recommendations and proposals to address any human rights issues of concern.

The SCA considers it important that the enabling laws of an NHRI establish a process whereby the Institution’s reports are required to be widely circulated, discussed and considered by the legislature. It is preferable for an NHRI to have an explicit power to table reports directly in the legislature, rather than through the Executive, and in so doing promote action on them.

The SCA notes that section 7 (1) of the Amendment Bill provides for the HRCZ to submit reports in relation to its activities during the financial year to the National Assembly. The SCA is of the view that these amendments, if passed in their present form, would address the previously stated concerns. The SCA therefore encourages the HRCZ to continue to advocate for the passage of the amendments.”