Centre for Communication Governance at NLU delhi
Literature from the Global Context (General Readings)

Stephen Martin Kohn, Concepts and Procedures in Whistleblower Laws, Chapter on Legal Principles in Whistleblower Laws, Greenwood Publishing House 2001

This chapter provides the basic legal principles surrounding protection of whistleblowers in USA.

Richard G Fox, Protecting the Whistleblower, 15 Adel. L. Rev. 137 1993

This article constitutes a basic reading to understand the concept of whistleblowing and the need to afford protection to them in a modern democratic age. It also analyses the laws relating to whistleblower protection in various countries, including USA and Australia.

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Paul Latimer & A J Brown, Whistleblower Laws: International Best Practice, 31(3) UNSW Law Journal 766 (2008)

This article provides a detailed overview about the considerations that need to be kept in mind while drafting a whistleblower protection law. It explains the pre-requisites for whistleblower laws and analyses the laws across various jurisdictions. Further it explains the different consideration that need to be put in place for public and private sector employees and the channels of disclosure that need to be implemented. The article concludes that effective whistleblower protections must include access to the normal legal process including trial by jury, protection for the whistleblower and protection of lawful disclosure. There must be no retaliation and there must be effective resolution of the wrongdoing disclosed by the whistleblower. It thus concludes that an effective legislation is the backbone of any proposed whistleblower protection.

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David Lewis, Whistleblowers and the Law of Defamation: Time for Statutory Privilege?, [2005] 3 Web JCLI

This article is based on the premise that whistleblowers can play a valuable role in modern society. The UK Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (PIDA 1998), which only applies to workers and requires that disclosures are made in “good faith”, makes no mention of the law of defamation. This article considers the impact of the law relating to libel and slander on actual and potential whistleblowers. It is observed that those who are not covered by PIDA 1998 are particularly exposed – if they cannot prove the truth of their allegations their motives may be examined in an action for defamation. The author concludes that it would be consistent with the principle of freedom of expression if statutory privileges were introduced and if Parliament removed the requirement of “good faith” for a disclosure to be protected under PIDA 1998.

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David Banisar, Whistleblowing: International Standards and Developments, Corruption and Transparency: Debating the Frontiers Between State, Market and Society, I. Sandoval, ed. World Bank-Institute for Social Research (February 1, 2011)

This article discusses the various elements of a definition of whistleblowing and brings out the notion of whistleblowing as an element of free speech and the right of individuals to express dissent. It then goes on to discuss the utility of whistleblowing and the barriers to the same. In order to analyse the international position on whistleblower protection, the article discusses the various international conventions that relate to it, including the UN Convention against Corruption and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression. The article also analyses the national laws on whistleblowing from USA, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

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Josh Halliday, Journalists’ employers must protect sources, says Lords committee chair, The Guardian Media, February 16, 2012

Lord Inglewood speaks out on row over News Corp passing information on Sun reporters’ confidential sources to police. He states that a proper employee is expected to protect the acts of a responsible journalist and his sources. It was important for the future of responsible investigative journalism that journalists are able to offer adequate protection to their sources.

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Dan Sabbagh, April Casburn verdict sends out mixed signals, The Guardian Media, January 10, 2013

This case involving selling information about Met police probe into phone hacking raises questions for would-be whistleblowers. These include the question about who can be classified as a whistleblower and under what circumstances they can be forced to reveal their source.

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Shailey Tucker, Whistleblowers: Whose Protection?, The Accountability Initiative, 2 August 2013 (Last Accessed 10 September 2013)

This article is a comprehensive take on the entire issue pertaining to whistleblowers. It compares the text of laws pertaining to whistleblowing across several jurisdictions including USA, UK, Japan and South Africa. The article concludes that countries such as South Africa, Japan and the UK are more comprehensive in their scope, coverage, and types of protection for whistleblowers, with clearly outlined definitions.

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Paul Harris, The Obama administration’s disturbing treatment of whistleblowers, The Guardian, April 11, 2012

This article argues that President Obama has shown a hostility to whistleblowers that exceeds that shown by President Bush. Defenders of Obama’s record on these whistleblowers point to a national security defence. Thus, the article tries to deconstruct this defence and state that whistleblowing and intelligence can exist simultaneously and that the Obama administration has been unduly strict on whistleblowers.

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