SCA Practice Note 2 - Special Reviews

Practice Note 2 - Special Reviews

Adopted in Geneva, 6 March 2017

In accordance with Article 16.2 of the GANHRI Statute, the SCA may initiate a Special Review where it appears that the circumstances of any A-status NHRI may have changed in a way that affects compliance with the Paris Principles. In practice, this may include, but is not limited to, situations where:

  • the enabling law of the NHRI has been amended significantly;
  • there has been a significant political change that impacts adversely on the ability of the NHRI to fulfill its mandate;
  • the conduct of the NHRI – such as a failure to respond adequately or in a timely manner to serious rights violations – call into question the institution’s independence; or
  • the SCA has received credible information from a third party that the circumstances of the NHRI have changed.

Credible third-party information may emanate from a variety of sources including:

  • observations and recommendations of the international human rights system,
  • including from the UPR, the Treaty Bodies, and from Special Procedures mandate holders;
  • observations and recommendations of a regional human rights mechanism;
  • media reports; and submissions or public reports made by civil society or other organizations.

The weight given to third-party information is determined on a case-by-case basis by the members of the SCA, taking into account that an effective NHRI can expect to face criticism from a variety of actors. When considering whether to initiate a Special Review, the NHRI will be provided with reasons, including any information that has been received from third-party sources, and will be provided with an opportunity to respond.

A decision of the SCA to initiate a Special Review is not an accreditation recommendation under Article 12 of the GANHRI Statute. It cannot, therefore, be challenged in accordance with the provisions of Article 12.

Download the practice note here - SCA Practice Note 2 - Special Reviews.pdf

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