“The SCA notes that the current person in charge of the DPNA was appointed by the Parliament’s Bicameral Commission of the Defensoria, in August 2015, on the basis of the longest-serving staff of the DPNA. The SCA takes note that the prevailing political situation in the country has led to a lack of appointment not only of the Defensor, but also of Supreme Court Judges, the Attorney General, and the head of the Penitentiary institution. 

The SCA is of the view that this short-term measure addresses, to some extent, the lack of leadership in the institution and ensures the full implementation of the mandate of the DPNA. However, such measure shall not become permanent. 

The SCA acknowledges the efforts made by the DPNA to advocate for the selection and appointment of a Defensor including the presentation of amicus curiae before the Supreme Court of Justice. However, the SCA strongly recommends that the DPNA continues to advocate for the selection and appointment of the Defensor. 

The SCA notes that it is critically important to ensure the formalization and application 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 urges the DPNA to continue advocating, as a matter of priority, for the finalization of the selection and appointment process of the Defensor. 

The SCA refers to Paris Principle B.1 and to General Observation 1.8 on ‘Selection and appointment of the governing body’.”