“Section 16(b) of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone Act (the Law) excludes the HRCSL from investigating any matter involving human rights violations that occurred before the coming into operation of the Law. The SCA acknowledges the response by the HRCSL that in principle it can intervene in cases of alleged human rights violations that are continuous in nature.
“While Article 11 of the enabling Law provides that a third of the members of the Executive Board of the FIHR shall come from civil society/social partners, the enabling Law is silent on the formal involvement of civil society organizations in the selection process.
The SCA considers it important that the selection process be characterized by openness and transparency and should involve open and fair consultation with civil society organizations. Not only is this a means of developing a good relationship with these bodies, but consideration of the expertise and experience of civil society organizations is likely to result in an NHRI with greater public legitimacy.
The SCA recommends that the FIHR advocates for the formalization and application of a process that includes the requirement to promote broad consultation and/ or participation, including of civil society organizations, in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.
The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.1 and to its General Observation 1.8 on ‘Selection and appointment of the decision-making body of NHRIs.’”