Table of Contents

International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research

International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research

Elgar original reference

Edited by A. J. Brown, David Lewis, Richard E. Moberly and Wim Vandekerckhove

In the modern age of institutions, whistleblowing is now established as one of the most important processes – if not the single most important process – by which governments and corporations are kept accountable to the societies they are meant to serve. This essential Handbook provides researchers and policy makers from around the world with a comprehensive overview of the state of our knowledge regarding this vital process. In addition to drawing from the last 30 years of progressively more systematic research into whistleblowing, it also provides cutting-edge analysis of the conceptual and practical challenges that researchers will want to confront in the next decade.

Chapter 15: The key to protection: Civil and employment law remedies

David Lewis, Tom Devine and Paul Harpur

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour, law - academic, corporate law and governance, corruption and economic crime, labour, employment law, politics and public policy, public policy


In this chapter we focus on lessons that can be learned from the civil and employment remedies for whistleblowing that exist in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. These five English speaking common law countries have been selected as they have the most extensive experience with stand-alone or special purpose legislation aiming to provide remedies for whistleblowers; and there have been recent developments in the first three. As discussed in the previous chapter (Fasterling, Chapter 14), they provide only one snapshot – or range of snapshots – of the legal provisions and approaches that govern whistleblowing. Moreover, the two following chapters (Faunce et al., Chapter 16 and Spencer and Spencer, Chapter 17) deal in turn, and in more detail, with how the law can provide bounty incentives and remedies and with criminal remedies. Civil remedies as reviewed here, however, are plainly crucial to the types of different measures that need to be considered by researchers (see generally Vaughn 2012). It will be seen that there are a range of civil and employment remedies available in these countries: statutory, common law, administrative and contractual. Generally, these remedies flow from the anti-retaliation model discussed by Dworkin and Brown (2013), and by Fasterling above, which may or may not adopt an employment rights approach. However, some reference will also be made to the bounty model, which uses different strategies for encouraging and compensating whistleblowers.

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