“In accordance with article 278 of the Constitution and Article 4 of the Law, the Defensor is appointed by a two-thirds majority of the House of Representatives from a list of 3 candidates proposed by the Senate.

The process, however, is not explicitly developed in the law. The DPP reports that, in practice, the Senate assesses the profiles and the vision statement of the candidates, and whether they fulfil the requirements set in the law.

The DPP further reports that the call for candidacies is widely broadcasted for 15 days on radio and television and that the most recent selection of the two Deputies in 2022, gender representation was guaranteed with a shortlist composed solely of women and, for the first time, a woman was appointed Deputy within the DPP.

While the SCA acknowledges that the most recent selection and appointment process has been conducted with wide publication of vacancies, participation of civil society, and guaranteed gender representation, it notes that the legal provision on selection and appointment does not explicitly include a clear and transparent process.

The SCA recommends the DPP to advocate for the provision of an explicit selection and appointment process in its law 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; and

d) Assess applicants on the basis of pre-determined, objective and publicly-available criteria.

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’.”