On 18th May, WIN co-chaired a session at RightsCon 2018 in Toronto, Canada. The session, How whistleblowing is changing the world, paired WIN with The Signals Network to explore cross-sector collaboration opportunities between media, civil society, lawyers and whistleblowers and the potential partnership opportunities between these groups.
WIN panellists included Antoine Deltour; Eduard Martin-Borregon from The Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER), Mexico and Tom Devine, Legal Director at the Government Accountability Project (GAP), Washington DC. After the conference, Tom was interviewed about the case Of OSHA Federal Investigator and lawyer Darrell Whitman.
15th May 2018 – The Luxembourg Court of Appeals has today recognised Antoine Deltour’s status as a whistleblower as defined by European Court of Human Rights. This decision has resulted in a full acquittal of all charges against Antoine relating to the copying and use of the LuxLeaks documents.
The Court of Appeal judgement recorded the copying of internal documents as a legal breach but, ultimately, withheld the suspended prison sentence and fine imposed at trial in 2016. This victory comes after the Court of Cassation’s rejection in January 2018 of Antoine’s original conviction.
Following the verdict, WIN tweeted:
Absolutely the right decision! For the Appeal Court to have condemned Antoine for the ancillary act of downloading training docs when the Supreme Court had acquitted him of all charges relating to his #whistleblowing would have made a mockery of justice. Well done Antoine! https://t.co/VqhOzoE9hx
Antoine’s case exposes many of the challenges facing whistleblowers and those involved in protecting whistleblowers, particularly in regards to the criminal sentence originally passed at trial. WIN remains committed to strengthening civil society organisations that defend the rights of whistleblowers and address a range of threats to public interest.
WIN congratulates Antoine, his family, his legal team led by William Bourdon and all those who saw the importance of the substance of his whistleblowing and the right for him to be protected for doing so.
Click here for the full press statement from Antoine Deltour’s support committee.
A number of concerned organisations signed a joint WIN letter to the relevant Ministers of the Polish Government expressing deep concerns about the draft provisions purporting to offer “whistleblower protection” as contained in the Draft Law on Transparency in Public Life. We urge the Polish Government to reject these as not fit for purpose.
07 November 2017
The organisations and leaders within WIN, the Whistleblowing International Network, have worked in the field of public interest whistleblower law and practice for close to 40 years. Our expertise has been sought by national governments and judicial and law enforcement authorities, amongst many others around the world, looking to enhance their legal and institutional protections for whistleblowing. Our members have played a leading role at the Council of Europe, the European Union, the OECD and the United Nations as part of their mandates to support good governance and democratic accountability, the rule of law and human rights.
We write to express our unqualified agreement with the attached concerns expressed by the Fundacja im. Stefana Batorego (Stefan Batory Foundation), Helsińska Fundacja Praw Człowieka, (The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights) and Instytut Spraw Publicznych (Institute of Public Affairs) about draft provisions of a “whistleblower” law recently proposed by the Minister, Special Services Coordinator, in the draft law on transparency of public life. The proposal purports to provide whistleblower protection for those who report evidence of certain criminal offences to the prosecutor. These provisions do not fall within the definitions nor spirit of legal whistleblower rights in any other country. Even if relevant, the provisions fail to meet even one of some 20 internationally accepted legal standards and best practices for whistleblower protection, and appear to violate European standards which includes the most recent 2015 PACE Resolution and Recommendation on Improving the Protection of whistleblowers. Continue reading →
OTTAWA, June 16, 2017 – Today a Canadian Parliamentary committee released a hard-hitting report calling for a major overhaul of Canada’s inadequate federal whistleblower protection legislation.
The Government Operations Committee recommends a number of changes to provide genuine protection to federal civil servants who blow the whistle on government wrongdoing.
“Finally there is a serious call to reform a law that has done little to protect Canadian federal whistleblowers so far and may in fact have done more harm than good by making civil servants think twice before speaking up.” said Anna Myers, Director of WIN, a network of leading civil society organisations working around the world to protect public interest whistleblowing.
Along with important Canadian witnesses like David Hutton, Senior Fellow at the Ryerson University Centre for Free Expression, the Committee heard from international experts from Ireland, Australia and the USA.
WIN is delighted to publish this guest blog – the first analysis of the new French law to protect whistleblowers adopted in 2016. This is a preliminary pass through the new law’s provisions which the author trusts will help stimulate discussion and encourage further analysis.
Jean-Philippe Foegle is a PhD candidate at the University of Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense” in Paris and visiting researcher at the Information Society Project, Yale Law School. His research focuses on the regulation of whistleblowing in France, the US and the UK. Jean-Philippe is also helping to coordinate a two-year research project funded by the French Ministry of Justice to explore how the implementation of Council of Europe’s Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers could improve the efficacy of of French whistleblower protection.
The new French law on the protection of whistleblowers reflects a paradox. Although many prominent whistleblowers are French citizens – think, for example, of Antoine Deltour or Hervé Falciani – it was not until 2013 that real protection for whistleblowers emerged in the wake of corruption and environmental scandals. Before the passage of fragmented legislation protecting whistleblowers in France, most whistleblowers were nevertheless protected through the case-law of the French courts. This protection remained largely theoretical, however, due to long delays in court proceedings : it took almost ten years before the prominent environmental whistleblower André Cicolella was finally able to his case beyond the French private law supreme court, the “Cour de Cassation”.
In 2014, WIN Director Anna Myers was invited to give a lecture to the Thailand Anti-Corruption Agency about whistleblowing at the International Anti-Corruption Academy (IACA) near Vienna, Austria. The Academy asked Anna to write an article for the alumni magazine, IACAlumnus, which she did including some of the questions that participants in the workshop asked – and which remain highly relevant today – and her attempts to answer them. WIN thanks the IACA for permission to reprint the article.
Whistleblowing is a hot topic right now not just for those interested in tackling corruption as a social, political, and economic ill, but it is also fast gaining currency amongst those working to prevent serious human rights abuses, as well as practitioners working to deliver more open government and access to information. Further, the link between whistleblowing and protecting journalists’ sources is also being highlighted, particularly among a new generation of journalists not necessarily based in established media or newspaper organizations, and who conduct serious investigations into corruption.
However, while legal protection for whistleblowers is still a new concept, the act of whistleblowing is not new. Whistleblowing is a human instinct – speaking up to alert Continue reading →
WIN members join groups from around the world to get answers from the next head of the world’s most powerful international body. Protecting whistleblowers saves lives.
[30 September 2016] For the first time in the history of the United Nations, candidates for the post of Secretary General have been asked for their views on whistleblower protection. This is the first opportunity for the candidates to say what they think and their answers will matter in determining whether the United Nations as an organisation is able to respond effectively to new challenges to its mandate and purpose.
Implementing effective whistleblowing arrangements is obviously about good governance but it must be acknowledged that the UN is not like any other institution or body in the world. When UN staff report concerns they come across in the course of their work, the impact of what they are reporting often affects the most vulnerable people and communities in the world. How the UN handles whistleblowing within its own systems is felt way beyond the organisation itself. Continue reading →
National security whistleblowing: a test of democracy
WIN Op-ed, Anna Myers
What I won’t do is I won’t serve as a deterrent to drive away whistleblowers; to shut the public out of the room in which our democracy takes place.
Edward Snowden interviewed by Ewen MacAskill , Guardian, Sept 13, 2016.
Embed from Getty Images
Once again Edward Snowden eloquently states why a Presidential Pardon matters as much for us as it does for him. Strange perhaps given that the vast majority of us are not in exile or facing criminal prosecution and a possible 35-year jail sentence or more if we return to our home country. What Edward Snowden is saying is that while he would dearly love to go home there are only two ways right now that he can go back to the US without undermining the principles of democratic accountability that are at the heart of his whistleblowing. Continue reading →
The Whistleblowing International Network (WIN), a coalition of organisations supporting whistleblowers worldwide, has expressed its dismay at the conviction of the ‘LuxLeaks’ whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet. The Luxembourg’s court’s verdict was Continue reading →
With the opening of Antoine Deltour’s trial today, WIN and several of the world’s leading whistleblower support and transparency advocates call on the charges against him to be dropped. Noting that his disclosures were manifestly in the public interest and recognized Continue reading →