Transitional Justice: Recommendation committee extends deadline for application by 10 day

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Apr 16, 2019-

The recommendation committee, formed to select the new leaderships for the transitional justice bodies, has decided to extend the deadline by 10 days, following demands from conflict victims’ representatives and the human rights community.

 The committee on April 8 had called applications from the interested candidates issuing a week-long deadline which expired on Monday. The victims and the human rights defenders, however, had demanded an extension of the deadline arguing that a week was too short for the purpose. With the new decision, one aspiring for the leadership can submit an application to the secretariat of the committee stationed at the Ministry of Law and Justice by April 25.

The committee has also opened the door for the institutions to recommend eligible candidates for the position of chairperson or members. “We decided to allow recommendations from the institutions or the organisations as some competent experts might be shy of applying themselves,” Sharmila Karki, a member of the committee, told the Post. She said the committee itself will approach some of the experts if needed.

 To become a member of either of the commissions, one should have a master’s degree, have no political party membership at the time of appointment and must have contributed to the field of human rights, law, social work or conflict resolution. To qualify for the post of chairperson, the candidate should be a retired justice of the Supreme Court, chief judge of the High Court or a person with the qualification to become an apex court justice. Karki said the committee wants to choose the most competitive and expert leadership to take charge of the commissions. The Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are vacant since Sunday after their chairpersons and members got mandatory retirement on Saturday, four years after taking the charge to look into the war-era cases of human rights violations.

 The committee led by former chief justice Om Prakash Mishra received applications from 40 people for the chairperson and members of the commissions in a week. At least four retired High Court judges and two retired government secretaries have applied for the chairs.

 The committee, after evaluating the applications, will recommend the names to the government for appointments, which needs the latter’s approval before they join the commissions. With the time for applications extended, it is very likely that the commissions will be without leadership for at least a month.

 The new leadership will have a maximum of two years to conclude investigations into the thousands of cases filed by the victims of the decade-long insurgency. The TRC, which received around 63,000 complaints has completed preliminary investigation into hardly 5,000 cases while among the 3,197 complaints at the CIEDP, a preliminary probe into around 2,200 cases has been completed till date. Neither commission completed full investigation into a single case.

Published: 16-04-2019 06:45

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