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The selection panel for the proposed new Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission (IHREC) has begun seeking applications for the role of Chief Commissioner (designate) and for the 14 Members (designate) of the Commission, it has been announced. The Chief Commissioner role will be full time and for a period of five years.

The selection panel, chaired by Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly and whose appointment by Justice Minister Alan Shatter has been formally approved by the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality, will make recommendations to Government for approval by the Oireachtas and appointment by the President.

The Chair of the panel, Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly said, “We will be advertising these appointments as widely as possible to make sure that the greatest possible number of potential members, and a potential Chief Commissioner, will be fully aware of them.” Additionally, the Public Appointments Service (PAS) will assist with advertising and with taking in applications while all other steps of the process including shortlisting and interviews will be undertaken solely by the selection panel.

 Legislation is currently being prepared by the Department of Justice, Defence and Equality to merge these bodies.