“Section 3(8) of the Act establishes that the NHRC members are appointed by the President of the Republic upon advice of the Prime Minister and subsequent to consultation with the Leader of the Opposition. Further, the Act is silent on the advertisement of vacancies for the posts of Chairperson and members. The NHRC reports that civil society organisations are informally consulted in the process.
The SCA reiterates that the process currently enshrined in the Act is not sufficiently broad and participatory. In particular, it does not formalise the process for achieving broad consultation and/or participation of civil society organisations 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 for an NHRI’s decision-making body in relevant legislation, regulations or binding administrative guidelines, as appropriate.
The SCA continues to encourage the NHRC to advocate for the formalisation and application of a process that includes requirements to:
a) Publicize vacancies broadly;
b) Maximize the number of potential candidates from a wide range of societal groups and educational qualifications;
c) promote broad consultation and / or participation of civil society organisations in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.
d) Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly-available criteria.”