Leaks, legislation and freedom of speech: how can the law effectively promote public interest whistleblowing

Fasterling, Bjorn and Lewis, David B. (2014) Leaks, legislation and freedom of speech: how can the law effectively promote public interest whistleblowing. International Labour Review, 153 (1). pp. 71-92. ISSN 0020-7780 (doi:10.1111/j.1564-913X.2014.00197.x)

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Abstract

In this article we outline the differences between leaking and whistleblowing, and provide possible justifications for leaking. We argue that, as a matter of principle, leaking information outside an organization will normally not further any public interest and should only be used as a last resort where problems have not been resolved internally. As uncontrolled leaking may be hazardous, we believe that the opportunity to blow the whistle in accordance with structured procedures offers a more satisfactory mechanism for exposing financial and other forms of wrongdoing (Carr and Lewis 2010). Next we describe how freedom of speech, whistleblowing legislation and internal reporting procedures provide alternatives to leaking and explain how they all operate unsatisfactorily in certain respects. In our analysis we refer to international conventions and the laws of four countries (USA, UK, France and Germany) that we consider representative of the different approaches to the treatment of whistleblowers. In conclusion, we suggest that regimes which are aimed at encouraging public interest disclosures through organizational insiders need improvement. Without this, unauthorized leaking could be tolerable in certain situations. Finally, we observe that public interest disclosure regimes need to take the human right dimension into account

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 25653
Notes on copyright: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: FASTERLING, B. and LEWIS, D. (2014), Leaks, legislation and freedom of speech: How can the law effectively promote publicā€interest whistleblowing?. International Labour Review, 153: 71-92. doi:10.1111/j.1564-913X.2014.00197.x, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1564-913X.2014.00197.x. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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Depositing User: Dave Lewis
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 17:02
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2019 11:37
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25653

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