“The SCA notes that Articles 2, 7 and 8(1) of the OCHR enabling law state that the Commissioner is appointed by a qualified majority of the State Duma, based on proposals for candidates that can be made by the President of the Russian Federation, the Council of the Federation of the Assembly, Deputies of the State Duma, or Deputies of associations in the State Duma.

The SCA acknowledges that the OCHR reported it is engaging in a dialogue with the State Duma to seek amendments to its legislation in order to address the previous recommendations by the SCA on selection and appointment.

The SCA is of the view that the process enshrined in the law is not sufficiently broad and transparent, as it does not:

  • require the advertisement of vacancies;
  • establish clear and uniform merit criteria on which candidates are assessed;
  • specify the process for achieving broad consultation and/or participation 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 OCHR to advocate for the formalization and application of a uniform 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;

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.”