“Article 37 of Law 18.446 (the Law) establishes that the General Assembly (Senate and the House of Representatives) elect members of the INDDHH Board of Directors by two thirds of the total number of parliamentarians. According to Article 39 of the Law, civil society organizations (CSOs) qualified to participate in INDDHH extraordinary sessions may propose candidates to the General Assembly and the parliamentarians who will prepare a list from which they ultimately elect the Board of Directors. While the involvement of CSOs in the process to propose potential candidates is welcome, the SCA recommends that this proposal process should be open and accessible to all parts of civil society to participate.
Article 40 of the Law states that, in order to conduct the candidate selection procedure, the General Assembly will appoint a Special Commission, comprising representatives of political parties in the Parliament, which will receive the nominations and verify the fulfilment of legal requirements. The Special Commission may interview the candidates and shall establish a final list for submission to the General Assembly at least five (5) days prior to the date convened for the election of the Board of Directors.
The SCA notes that even though the Law is silent on advertisement of the vacancies, the INDDHH reports that, in practice, a call for applications is made public through various media outlets and on the INDDHH website in line with its internal policy.
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 for members.
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 INDDHH 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 in the application, screening, selection and appointment process.”