An empirical study of the purpose of the Irish Protected Disclosures Act 2014

Kierans, Lauren (2019) An empirical study of the purpose of the Irish Protected Disclosures Act 2014. PhD thesis, Middlesex University / School of Law.

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Abstract

The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 enacted on 15 July 2014, is Ireland’s first pan-sectoral whistleblowing law. The purpose of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 is described in its preamble as being ‘An Act to make provision for and in connection with the protection of persons from the taking of action against them in respect of the making of certain disclosures in the public interest and for connected purposes.’ The aim of this research is to determine whether the 2014 Act is fulfilling its purpose of providing protection to disclosers, as set out in its preamble. This thesis contributes to knowledge by identifying the weaknesses of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 that are undermining its purpose and makes suggestions for reform in order to remedy these weaknesses at an early stage before the protected disclosures protection system in Ireland becomes futile.

For the purpose of this research, an assessment of the case law under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 from 15 July 2014 to 16 July 2018 was undertaken to highlight certain patterns emerging from the use, interpretation, and application of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014. An assessment of the prescribed persons system under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 was also undertaken in order to ascertain whether the system is functioning as intended. In addition, an analysis of prescribed persons’ compliance with the governmental guidance on protected disclosures procedures was carried out. This analysis focussed on the non-statutory framework implemented by the government to complement the legislative framework. The research also included an evaluation of the difficulties faced by organisations when implementing protected disclosures procedures in relation to balancing the rights of the discloser and the rights of the alleged wrongdoer. This thesis concludes that the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 is not fulfilling its purpose and that urgent action is required to be taken, in line with the recommendations made in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
B. > Theses
Item ID: 26851
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2019 10:12
Last Modified: 21 Oct 2019 09:41
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/26851

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