“The SCA notes that the formal participation of civil society organizations in the application, screening and selection of members is not enshrined in the Law on the Seimas Ombudspersons nor in any other binding administrative documents.

The SOO reported that in practice civil society representatives have the opportunity to express their views on the candidates for the position of Ombudspersons once the candidacies become public and during the hearing of applications by the Seimas Committee on Human Rights. Further, the SOO reported that more than 100 organisations operating in the field of human rights expressed public support for the appointment of the current Ombudsperson. It is critically important to ensure the formalization of a clear, transparent, and participatory selection and appointment process for an NHRI’s decision-making body in relevant legislation, regulations or binding administrative guidelines, as appropriate.

The SCA is of the view that involvement of civil society organizations should be formalized, for example by:

– directly soliciting proposals from civil society; or

 – allowing civil society to directly participate in the evaluation process.

The SCA encourages the SOO to continue to advocate for the formalization and application of a process that includes requirements to publicize vacancies broadly and to promote broad consultation and/or participation in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.1 and to its General Observation 1.8 on ‘Selection and appointment of the decision-making body of NHRIs’.”