“Article 148 (g) paragraph 2 of the Federal Constitutional Law provides that the AOB three decisionmaking members are nominated by the three political parties with the greatest number of seats in the National Council. The AOB Board members are then elected by the National Council on the basis of this joint recommendation.
The SCA notes that the process currently enshrined in the Federal Constitutional Law is not sufficiently broad and transparent.
In particular, the process does not:
- Require the advertisement of vacancies, and
- Promote broad consultations and or participation in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.
It is critically important to ensure the formalization of a clear, transparent, and participatory selection and appointment process of the NHRI’s decision-making body in relevant legislation, regulations, or binding administrative guidelines, as appropriate. A process that promotes a merit-based selection process and ensures pluralism is necessary to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the senior leadership of an NHRI.
The SCA encourages the AOB to advocate for the formalization and application of a process that includes the requirements to:
- Publicize vacancies broadly;
- Maximize the number of potential candidates from a wide range of societal groups and educational qualifications;
- Promote broad consultation and/or participation of civil society organizations in the application screening selection and appointment process;
- Access applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly available criteria; and
- Select numbers to serve in the individual capacity rather than on behalf of the organization they represent. In order to ensure its application in practice, the selection process should be formalized in relevant laws, regulations, or binding administrative guidelines.“