New specialised institutions are NPMs that have been established with the sole aim of fulfilling a state’s obligations under the OPCAT. In contrast with most other NPMs, new specialised institutions are not part of other oversight or monitoring bodies and do not have other major roles or powers beyond those set out in the OPCAT.
In common with other independent oversight bodies, such as national human rights institutions, new specialised institutions often have one or more members who are elected or appointed by the legislative or executive branch of government for a fixed term or terms (see question 2 below).
In accordance with Article 18 of the OPCAT, which includes a reference to the Paris Principles on the Status of Independent Institutions, new specialised institutions are institutionally, operationally, and personally independent of those institutions they are mandated to oversee.
In common with other independent oversight bodies, however, new speclialised institutions are also accountable to the public, usually through parliament. The founding legislation for such institutions should thus include provisions on issues such as when and how members can be removed from office, including in cases of serious misconduct or wrongdoing.