In 2009 Transparency International (TI) the world’s leading anti-corruption organization developed a set of principles that are intended as guidance to any jurisdiction that is developing whistleblower legislation.
FAIR took part in this important project, including a workshop help in Prague, where whistleblowing experts and advocates from around the world were assembled to work on the draft document. (See FAIR's report on the Prague workshop.)
The result is a concise and authoritative statement of the essential elements of whistleblower legislation. We view this as an extremely valuable document that will be used in various ways, for example:
- as guidance to legislators who are in the process of drafting new whistleblower laws or improving existing laws
- as a definition of the current consensus among experts regarding best practice in this field – for the benefit of lawyers, researchers and others
- as a tool to examine the adequacy of legislation. Comparison with these principles will often reveal oversights, loopholes and predictable failure modes.
Note that TI has retained the word 'draft' in the title of the document, as recognition that our collective understanding of this field is still developing, and that best practices will evolve over time.
A 10-Country Study
TI has used these principles to guide a study into the status of whistleblower protection in 10 EU countries – mainly former Eastern Bloc countries that are struggling to emerge from an era of corrupt authoriarian government supported by secret police.
This study not only provides observations and recommendations for these countries, but in our view it also provides a model for other researchers, demonstrating how whistleblower protection can be examined and evaluated in a systematic manner.