Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers 2014

On the 30 April 2014, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted the Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers and its accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.  The Recommendation places whistleblowing squarely within a democratic and human rights framework and is meant to serve as a guide for Council of Europe states.  It will also be useful for anyone interested in whistleblowing as matter of protecting the public interest and public accountability.  Below you will also find the link to the European Committee on Legal Co-operation which drafted the Recommendation and whose web page provides further information on whistleblowing.

Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers Recommendation and its Explanatory Memorandum CMRec(2014)7E

BACKGROUND in BRIEF

In 2010, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called on all member States to review their legislation concerning the protection of whistle-blowers to Resolution 1729 (2010) and recommended to the Committee of Ministers to draw up a set of guidelines for the protection of whistleblowers Recommendation 1916 (2010).  It is well worth reading the report Doc 12006 (2009)  by Pieter Omtzigt, PACE MP and rapporteur for the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights which led to PACE urging for action on this issue in Europe.

In 2012 the European Committee on Legal Co-operation (CDCJ), which drafted the Recommendation, commissioned Paul Stephenson and Professor Michael Levi to prepare a feasibility study on a possible draft legal instrument. The Study (see below) provides a good overview of the state of whistleblower protection in Europe, including cases from the European Court of Human Rights and examples of law and policy in different Council of Europe member states.