“According to Article 248 (2) of the Constitution, the President shall, on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council, appoint the Chairperson and members.
In practice, the NHRCN reports that vacancies for new commissioners are advertised widely and that the Constitutional Council shortlists candidates who participate in parliamentary hearings which are open to media personnel, but not to the general public. The SCA is of the view that the process enshrined in the Law is not sufficiently broad and transparent. In particular, it does not:
- require the advertisement of vacancies; and
- promote broad consultation and/or participation in the application, screening, selection, and appointment process.
The SCA notes that the NHRCN has submitted proposed amendments on this issue in the context of the reform of the Constitution of Nepal that is yet to be adopted.
The SCA encourages the NHRCN to continue 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.”