HRC sets up office, yet to see appointees
Wednesday, 03 September 2008

The government announced the "set up" of the National Human Rights Commission in a statement Monday, with an office established in the capital's Hare Road—though members have yet to be appointed almost eight months after the interim cabinet approved the HRC ordinance.

The commission was set up on Monday in compliance with the National Human Rights Commission Ordinance 2007, according to the statement of the law ministry.
The interim cabinet approved the ordinance on Dec 9 last year, according to which a six-member search committee would handpick three members for the president to approve.
The chairman and chief executive of the commission would be appointed from the three for a three-year term.
At least one member is slated to be a retired or serving judge of the Supreme Court. The others must have experience in human-rights issues.
The ordinance also set an age limit for members between 50 and 72 years of age.
The search committee will consist of a judge of the Appellate Division, the cabinet secretary, the attorney general, the comptroller and auditor general, the chairman of the Public Service Commission and the secretary of the ministry of law, justice and parliamentary affairs.
The commission will investigate any allegation against government agencies of violation or instigation to violate human rights, monitor human rights in prisons, correction centres or other forms of custody, and report to the government with recommendations.
It will also make recommendations on ratification or signing of international human rights documents, dispose of accusations through mediation or compromise following investigation.
The human rights commission will be entitled to deal with any cases pending trial in court or matters being considered by any ombudsman.
Nor will it deal with the actions of in-service government employees that can be tried under the Administrative Tribunal Act 1980.

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