“In accordance with Article 12.3. of the enabling Law, the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, and the other members of the Commission are appointed by decree of the President of the Republic on the proposal of the administrations, associations, and socio-professional bodies to which they belong. The SCA is of the view that the process currently enshrined in the Law is not sufficiently broad and transparent. In particular, it does not: – require the advertisement of vacancies; – establish clear and uniform criteria; – ensure that such criteria are uniformly used by different nominating entities to assess the merit of eligible applicants.

 In addition, the SCA is also concerned that Commissioners appointed by decree of the President include Commissioners proposed by the public administration, in particular diplomats and experts in prison administration and management of places of deprivation of liberty.

The SCA is of the view that such a process should be under the control of an independent and credible body and involve open and fair consultation with NGOs and civil society.

The SCA encourages the CHRC to advocate for the necessary changes in its selection and appointment process to ensure that members of the public administration do not form part of the decision-making body of the CHRC. A process that promotes merit-based selection and ensures pluralism is necessary to ensure the independence of, and public confidence in, the senior leadership of an NHRI. The SCA recommends a consistent, transparent, merit-based, and broadly consultative selection process for all relevant nominating entities.

The SCA encourages the CHRC to advocate for an amendment to its enabling law to ensure the formalization and application of a process that includes requirements to: – Publicize vacancies broadly; and – Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly available criteria.  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’.”