SCA Practice Note 3 - Assessing the Performance of NHRIs

Practice Note 3 - Assessing the Performance of NHRIs

Adopted in Geneva, 6 March 2017

The SCA assesses compliance with the Paris Principles in both law and practice. When assessing applications for accreditation, re-accreditation and special or other reviews, it will consider:

  • Whether the organizational structure of the NHRI – including its staff complement and budget – lends itself to effective functioning.
  • Whether the provisions of the enabling law are sufficient to allow the institution to function effectively and independently.
  • Whether the NHRI is able to carry out its mandate effectively and without interference.
  • Whether the NHRI demonstrates independence in practice and a willingness to address the pressing human rights issues.

The SCA will consider all information provided by the NHRI under review. This may include:

  • the Statement of Compliance prepared by the NHRI;
  • the NHRI’s enabling law;
  • any other relevant laws, rules or regulations;
  • the practices and procedures of the NHRI;
  • the NHRIs organizational structure, including staffing complement and budget;
  • annual and other reports of the NHRI; and
  • statements issued by the NHRI.

The SCA may also consider information about the NHRI that is provided by credible third parties. This may include:

  • observations and recommendations emanating from the international human
  • rights system, including from the UPR, the Treaty Bodies, and Special

Procedures mandate holders;

  • reports provided by OHCHR;
  • observations and recommendations of a regional human rights mechanism;
  • media reports; and
  • submissions and public reports made by civil society and other organizations.

The weight given to third-party information is determined on a case-by-case basis by the members of the SCA.

The SCA notes that even an effective NHRI may be criticized by a variety of stakeholders for the way it undertakes its mandate, and that the SCA must independently assess whether those criticism are, or are not, well-founded. Should the SCA wish to rely on information provided by a third party, the SCA will ensure that the NHRI under review is provided with that information and will provide an opportunity for the NHRI to respond to it.

Download a copy here - SCA Practice Note 3 - Assessing Performance.pdf

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SCA Practice Note 5 - Sources of information to assess the performance of NHRIs

A practical guide to the work of the SCA