Comparative Perspectives on Whistleblower Protection
In cooperation with Prof. Jacqueline Ross and Prof. Verity Windship from the University of Illinois College of Law, we compare the dealing with Whistleblowers in criminal prosecutions within the German and US jurisdictions and the impact on adversarial and inqusitorial systems.
Compared to the United States, Germany is a wasteland for whistleblowers. Granted, there have been some attempts to promote whistleblowing in German legislation. But they failed the whistleblowers requirements. Of course, whistleblowing has become more and more relevant in the past few years and its controversy has also reached Germany. The whistleblower does face risks like termination, suspension, discrimination, exclusion, blacklisting and threats or maybe even criminal liability. Whistleblowing is an act “on the border between illegality and legality”.The uncovering of unwanted conduct however is of course generally in the public interest and whistleblowing therefore desirable behavior. That is why it is necessary to protect the whistleblower so that he or she is not already put off by the legal situation alone and simultaneously give incentive. However, organizations have an opposing interest to keep confidential information confidential. Hence the state must find a sensible balance between the protection of whistleblowers, public interests and confidential information.