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Chapter Summary

The most critical factor in determining the effectiveness of an NHRI is its capacity to act independently in pursuing its mandate. It is essential that the enabling legislation should empower the institution to adopt its own internal rules and regulations relating to management, personnel and financial administration and, importantly, in relation to investigations and complaint handling. In this chapter it is important to understand that the functional autonomy which NHRIs are entitled to enjoy must be practised within the parameters of widely accepted legal and public service norms. Independence and accountability are not mutually inconsistent concepts; on the contrary, both are fundamental to the effective functioning of a national human rights commission. Independence depends not only on appropriate legal prescriptions, but also on several other factors which are addressed in the chapter. The most important of these is the integrity capacity and commitment of those who lead the institution.

Keywords: accessibility; human rights; independence; NHRI



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