Parliament’s Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD) recently invited comments on the proposed amalgamation of certain Chapter 9 institutions into a single human rights body.
FOR SA made a 24-page submission to the OISD, addressing certain issues that are common to the Chapter 9 institutions under review (and in particular the CRL Rights Commission (CRL), the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)), as well as certain issues that are particular to each of them. This submission is particularly useful to gain an understanding regarding the appointment of Commissioners for each of the Commissions, and our experience of their processes and procedures.
Our conclusion was that in our current socio-political climate, Chapter 9 institutions remain as critically important to our democracy as they were when they were first established in terms of our South African Constitution in 1996. Twenty years later however, there is a definite need to review the organisation and functioning of these institutions to improve and strengthen them so that they can effectively and optimally fulfil their function as “watchdogs” in our constitutional democracy. We propose that they continue to exist and function separately, but in instances of overlapping jurisdiction, co-operatively.
FOR SA’s submission can be viewed here – www.forsa.org.za/document-library/ (Click on “Proposed Amalgamation of Chapter 9 Institutions”, and then FOR SA Submission – 30June2017).
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