The Council of Europe resolution and recommendation on the protection of whistleblowers

Lewis, David B. ORCID logoORCID: (2010) The Council of Europe resolution and recommendation on the protection of whistleblowers. Industrial Law Journal, 39 (4) . pp. 432-435. ISSN 0305-9332 [Article] (doi:10.1093/indlaw/dwq023)


In its Second Evaluation Report (2003–06), the Group of States against Corruption, a body set up in 1999 to monitor compliance with Council of Europe's anti-corruption legal instruments, noted that staff who reported cases of corruption in public administration received no special protection. On 14 September 2009, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) published a report from the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights entitled ‘The protection of whistleblowers’ and on 29 April 2010 PACE passed Recommendation 1916 and Resolution 1729 calling on member states to review their legislation on this subject. This note analyses these new sources, with a special focus on how they interact with current UK law.
The Recommendation's first paragraph emphasises the importance of whistleblowing ‘as a tool to increase accountability and strengthen the fight against corruption and mismanagement’. Paragraph 2 urges the Committee of Ministers to take three actions: draw up guidelines which take into account the principles contained in the Resolution; invite states to examine their legislation and its implementation to check whether it complies with the guidelines; and consider drafting a framework convention on the protection of whistleblowers. Paragraph 3 calls for a European conference to be organised on this subject and suggests the establishment of a ‘strong internal whistle-blowing mechanism’ at the Council of Europe.
The main focus of this note is on the guiding principles contained in paragraph 6 of the Resolution but there are eight other paragraphs and these will be outlined first. Paragraph 2 builds on the empirical research in both the USA and Australia which demonstrates that the two main reasons why people are deterred from reporting concerns are fear of reprisals and a belief that no action will be taken to deal with.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 6938
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Depositing User: Ms Jyoti Zade
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2011 12:19
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2019 13:10

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