“Article 9 of INCHR Act provides that the Chairperson and members of the INCHR shall be appointed by the President from a list of persons recommended by the Independent Committee of Experts formed by the Chief Justice of the Republic. The appointment by the President is done with the consent of the Senate.
The SCA notes that the selection and appointment process is not sufficiently broad, transparent, and participatory. The law does not:
– Outline the membership of the Independent Committee of Experts;
– Require the publication and advertisement of vacancies;
– Promote broad consultation and/or participation in the screening and selection process; and
– Provide merit criteria for the selection of members of the Commission
The INCHR reports that it has proposed amendments to the INCHR Law to address the SCA recommendation made in this regard.
It is critically important to ensure the formalisation 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 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 previous recommendation encouraging the INCHR to advocate for the formalization and application of a process that includes 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 in the application, screening, selection and appointment process;
– Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly available criteria; and
– Select members to serve in their individual capacity rather than on behalf of the organization they represent.
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”