What Can We Learn from Existing Whistleblowing Legislation and Research?
Edited by David B. Lewis
Chapter 10: Conclusion
Professor David B. Lewis The previous chapters contain many and varied suggestions about the principles upon which public interest disclosure legislation might be based and about the issues that future research might explore. It is difficult to do justice to them all in summary form but it is the editor’s task to endeavour to do so. ON WHAT PRINCIPLES MIGHT FUTURE LEGISLATION BE BASED? I start from the premise that, for a variety of political, economic, cultural, social and legal reasons, universally applicable model legislation is highly unlikely to emerge. Nevertheless, since an increasing number of countries are recognizing the contribution that relevant statutes can make to exposing wrongdoing and promoting effective corporate governance,1 it is worth trying to identify some essential principles upon which a relevant instrument might be based. The objective would be to devise measures which ‘first and foremost provide a safe alternative to silence, while avoiding offering potential whistleblowers a “shield of cardboard” which would entrap them by giving them a false sense of security’.2 The first task would be to determine the purposes of the legislation. A survey of 14 existing whistleblowing statutes3 reveals that their main purposes are to: protect disclosers (13 jurisdictions); facilitate/provide means for disclosures (11); investigate disclosures (5); encourage disclosures (4); deal with disclosures/impropriety (4); provide a fund for rewarding whistleblowers. (1) It is interesting to note that the UK and Queensland statutes have the sole purpose of affording protection and the Act has the sole purpose of encouraging disclosure....
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