HomeKohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP and European Civil Society Organizations Dedicated to Whistleblower Rights Provide Recommendations for Ireland’s New Whistleblower Law

Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP and European Civil Society Organizations Dedicated to Whistleblower Rights Provide Recommendations for Ireland’s New Whistleblower Law

Today, the international whistleblower law firm Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP along with the National Whistleblower Center, Whistleblowing International, and the European Center for Whistleblower Rights, filed a public comment with the Irish Government’s Department of Public Expenditure and Reform providing the Government of Ireland specific recommendations for the new whistleblower legislation Ireland is in the process of drafting to fulfill the requirements of the Directive (EU) 2019/1937 on the Protection of Persons who report Breaches of Union Law, passed this year.

Based on an expert review by Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto attorneys, the best practices outlined in this letter include:

  • Expanding whistleblower protections to cover disclosures permitted under international anti-corruption conventions signed by Member States;
  • Adopting language and procedures that have proven effective in protecting whistleblowers when implementing Articles 6-7, 11, 14-16, 19-21, and 23-24 of the Directive;
  • Narrowly interpreting Article 22 of the Directive in order to ensure that whistleblowers are not chilled from making disclosures and their confidentiality is maintained; and
  • Enacting whistleblower reward laws to combat specific legal violations, including foreign bribery, money laundering, tax evasion, government procurement fraud, and ocean pollution.

Because the Directive sets forth the “common minimum standards” for whistleblower protection required by each European Union (“EU”) Member State, the Directive plainly permits Member States to extend protections beyond these minimum standards. Therefore, when implementing the Directive each Member State has an opportunity to create robust whistleblower programs that protect whistleblowers, incentivize the reporting of crimes or regulatory violations, and enable law enforcement agencies to effectively combat corruption.

Additionally, these laws should be compatible with Ireland’s current anticorruption regime, which is uniquely strong within the EU. In Ireland, whistleblowers are protected by a fairly comprehensive series of laws that include, amongst other subjects, persons reporting: breaches of the Ethics Acts; violations of competition law; matters relating to workplace health & safety issues; corruption or malpractice amongst police; threats to the welfare of patients in health care; threats to consumers; breaches relating to chemicals; and violations of charities law.

Therefore, it is clear that there is substantial support from Irish lawmakers for whistleblower protections and the new proposed legislation could easily act to effectively create an overarching regime that will eliminate any holes in the current sectoral approach. In line with this, specifically adding provisions to support corporate and international whistleblowers and provide awards to successful whistleblowers would very much complement and strengthen the existing Irish whistleblower regime.

Read the Letter

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Latest News & Insights

  • March 24, 2023

    On March 23, leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto was a guest on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin. Kohn spoke about recent developments in whistleblowing including the December passage of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Whistleblower Improvement Act and the troubling False Claims Act statistics ...

  • March 16, 2023

    On March 15, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the SEC Whistleblower Reform Act of 2023. The bill strengthens the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) highly successful whistleblower award program by addressing issues in the Dodd-Frank Act. “This is an important bill that needs to be quickly passed,” said leading whistleblower attorney Stephen M. ...

  • March 15, 2023

    This article originally appeared in JD Supra. From oustee to advocate, former FBI agent Jane Turner continues to uplift whistleblowers while sharing her personal story exposing widespread misconduct and cover-ups within the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Standing outside a Minneapolis courtroom 16 years ago, jurors hugged Turner with tears in their ...

  • March 15, 2023

    WhistleblowersUK is set to host their 1st annual Whistleblowing Awareness Week from Monday, March 20 through Friday, March 24. The event occurs in conjunction with the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Whistleblowing. Designed to bring together leading voices in the whistleblower sphere to advocate for more robust laws in the UK and beyond, ...

Subscribe for News & Resources

Receive exclusive updates and news from our firm.