“Article 9(3)(j) of the Fundamental Law of Hungary provides that the President of Hungary nominates a candidate to Parliament for election as Commissioner.
The SCA is of the view that the selection process currently enshrined in the existing Law is not sufficiently broad and transparent. In particular, it does not:
– Require the advertisement of vacancies;
– Establish clear and uniform merit criteria on which candidates are assessed; and
– Specify the process for achieving broad consultation and/or participation in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.
The SCA is of the view that 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. 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 reiterates its concerns and encourages the CFR to continue to advocate for the formalization and application of a process that includes requirements to:
1. Publicize vacancies broadly;
2. Maximize the number of potential candidates from a wide range of societal groups and educational qualifications;
3. Promote broad consultation and / or participation in the application, screening, selection and appointment process;
4. Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly-available criteria; and
5. Select members to serve in their individual capacity rather than on behalf of the organization they represent.
In this regard, the SCA notes that Section 7(4) of Act CXI of 2011 on the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights provides that the Commissioner shall seek advice from the nationality self-government before proposing the Deputy Commissioner responsible for the protection of the rights of national minorities.
The SCA encourages the CFR to consider a similar amendment to the process of selection for the Commissioner, as well as such other amendments as may be required to address the issues outlined above.”