Author: Lauren Kierans
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The Protected Disclosures Act 2014 enacted on 15 July 2014, is Irelands 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. Whistleblowing and the Protected Disclosures Act in Ireland: Law, Rights and Policy examines whether the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 is fulfilling its stated purpose and outlines its strengths, as well as its weaknesses 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.
The author addresses the issues of what is whistleblowing and who is a whistleblower before looking at the value of whistleblowing for organisations and for society. She then examines why whistleblowers need protection and in what form this protection should take. The history of whistleblowing in Ireland, as well as the various legal approaches to this issue up to the enactment of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014, is also addressed. The author proceeds to provide an in-depth examination of the case law under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 and highlights certain patterns emerging from its use, interpretation, and application. Whistleblowing and the Protected Disclosures Act in Ireland: Law, Rights and Policy also assesses the prescribed persons system under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 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 is carried out. This analysis focuses on the non-statutory framework for public bodies implemented by the government to complement the legislative framework. This book also carries out 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, in particular, regarding confidential and anonymous disclosures, the rights of the alleged wrongdoer under natural justice and fair procedures, and data protection concerns. It concludes that the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 is not fulfilling its purpose and that urgent action is required with recommendations of what actions might be taken, in light of the recently adopted EU Whistleblowers Directive.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Defining Whistleblowing and Whistleblower
Chapter 3: The Value of Whistleblowing
Chapter 4: Whistleblower Protection
Chapter 5: History of Whistleblowing in Ireland
Chapter 6: Claims Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014
Chapter 7: The Profile of a Complainant
Chapter 8: The Prescribed Persons System Under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014
Chapter 9: Mandatory Whistleblowing Procedures
Chapter 10: Confidentiality and Anonymous Disclosures
Chapter 11: Rights of the Alleged Wrongdoer Under Natural Justice and Fair Procedures
Chapter 12: Data Protection and Protected Disclosures
Chapter 13: Moving Forward: The EU Whistleblowers Directive
About the Author
Lauren Kierans, Phd, Barrister-at-Law who specialises in whistleblowing and protected disclosure law. Dr Kierans is also lecturer in law at NUI Maynooth.
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