The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

Robert G. Vaughn

Drawing on literature from several disciplines, this enlightening book examines the history of whistleblower laws throughout the world and provides an analytical structure for the most common debates about the nature of such laws and their potential successes and failures.

Chapter 14: Civil society

Robert G. Vaughn

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, labour, employment law, politics and public policy, public policy


The role of nongovernmental organizations, both in the United States and in other countries, represents one of the successes of whistleblower laws. These groups support whistleblowers, represent them, address identified misconduct, and seek enactment or reform of whistleblower laws. Other groups view advocacy regarding whistleblowing as adjunct to reforms regarding specific issues, such as environmental protection, public health and safety, financial services, racial justice, labor protections, and human rights. Still other groups see whistleblowing connected with the interests of specific professions, such as nursing, science, engineering, or law. Some organizations are identified by particular characteristics, such as race, citizenship, age, religion, or gender. All of these organizations, however, play important roles in the advancement of whistleblowers laws. Their guidance and advice to whistleblowers necessarily contain judgments about the strengths and weaknesses of whistleblower laws. In this regard, whistleblower advocacy organizations offer a particular perspective from which to examine the successes and failures of whistleblower laws.

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