“According to the Article 12.5 of the NHRCM’s enabling legislation, Law on the National Human Rights Commission of Mongolia (the Law), the Standing Committee of Legal Affairs shall establish a working group to conduct a competitive selection process within sixty (60) days. The working group shall nominate applicants with the highest scores from the selection process to fill any vacant Commissioner roles and the Standing Committee of Legal Affairs shall then discuss the nominations. In addition, Article 12.6 provides that the Standing Committee of Legal Affairs shall discuss the nomination within a week and decide whether to submit its proposal to a plenary session of State Great Khural to appoint the recommended candidate(s) as Commissioner(s).
The SCA acknowledges that, in practice, civil society organizations, through the Civil Society Council, can participate in the selection and appointment process by attending the public hearings held by the working group set up for the selection process. The SCA recognizes that amendments were introduced to the enabling law in 2020. However, the SCA notes that the process has not been sufficiently formalized to enable the Civil Society Council to play a more active role in this process beyond attendance. Amendments to Article 9.5 of the ‘Regulation on the election of Commissioner of the National Human Rights Commission and National Preventive Mechanism against Torture’ could establish a clear and consistent role for the council to ask questions alongside the working group. This could ensure the process achieves broad consultation and/or participation of civil society organizations 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. 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 encourages the NHRCM to continue to advocate for the formalization 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 organizations in the application, screening, selection, and appointment process;
d) Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly-available criteria; and
e) Select members to serve in their individual capacity rather than on behalf of the organization they represent.
In order to ensure its application in practice, the selection process should be formalized in relevant laws, regulations, or binding administrative guidelines.”