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Human Rights Commission – Appointments Process Remains Flawed

Published: Thursday, December 21, 2000

The National Women's Council of Ireland, the Women's Education Research and Resource Centre, the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Irish Council for Civil Liberties remain concerned at the manner in which the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform has chosen to nominate members of the Human Rights Commission.

In continuing to overlook the objective and equitable process of nomination adopted by the independent selection committee and in refusing to outline the criteria by which he has chosen those now nominated, the Minister has compromised the credibility of the Human Rights Commission. The Ministers' actions have created an impression that nominations have been made on an apparently arbitrary basis. The essential independence of the Commission has been affected by the undue political interference demonstrated in a selection process which continues to lack transparency.

It is crucial that the credibility and independence of the Human Rights Commission be restored. As a first step in this direction, the Minister must outline the objective criteria by which he has selected those nominated to the Commission and provide an assurance that the Commission will have the political independence necessary to carry out the vital responsibility of monitoring this country's human rights record.

The mismanagement of the appointments process highlights the need for legislation to amend current procedures so that an independent appointments system can be established.