WIN connects and strengthens civil society organizations that defend and support whistleblowers. The Network provides counsel, tools and expertise needed by those working in their countries to address corruption, waste, fraud, abuse, illegality and threats to the public interest.
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.
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.
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
Washington DC, London, Dublin, 29 June 2016
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
By Vladimir Radomirović
Vladimir Radomirović, Editor-in-Chief of Pištaljka, reporting on what’s changed for whistleblowers six months after implementation of Serbia’s new law, observes that the input of civil society has had a positive impact.
When Slobodan Marinković, a police detective in Belgrade, blew the whistle on corrupt police officers and politicians three years ago, he thought the crooks would soon be Continue reading
by: Alison Glick
The protection of whistleblowers and journalists’ sources took center stage at the United Nations on October 22nd, with the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, delivering his report on the promotion and protection of these rights. Kaye, speaking before the UN’s Third Committee, which oversees social, humanitarian, and cultural affairs, emphasized the crucial role played by whistleblowers Continue reading
by Alison Glick
The new report by Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression at the United Nations, David Kaye, adds to the growing call for increased whistleblower protections as necessary to strengthen and ensure the right to information and free expression. In his report, Kaye analyzes not only international and national legal frameworks used to protect sources of Continue reading