“Section 4 of the NCHR Act outlines the appointment process for the NCHR Chairperson and members, stipulating the necessity of public advertisement of vacancies. The NCHR reports that this provision enables representatives from civil society organizations to apply or recommend candidates for membership within the NCHR.

However, the SCA considers that the process currently enshrined in the NCHR Act is not sufficiently broad and transparent. In particular, the process does not formalize broad consultations and/or participation in the application, screening, selection, and appointment process.

The SCA encourages the NCHR to advocate for the formalization and application of a process that includes the requirements to promote broad consultation and/or participation of civil society organizations in the application, screening, selection, and appointment of commissioners.

There is currently no provision in the NCHR Act that safeguards against prolonged vacancies in the leadership of the institution in case of a delay in the appointment process, which has previously left the institution without a board of commissioners for a prolonged period.

The SCA recommends that the NCHR advocate for an amendment to this aspect of the NCHR Act to ensure timely appointments and prevent prolonged vacancies in the leadership of the institution.

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.1 and to its General Observations 1.1 on ‘The establishment of NHRIs’ and 1.8 on ‘Selection and appointment of the decision-making body of NHRIs’.”