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Freedom to speak up threatened by a bill that claims to strengthen free speech protection

Protect legal adviser, Emma Darlow Stearn, discusses the potential negative impact on whistleblowers of the Bill of Rights Bill.  The Bill of Rights Bill (“the bill”), brought in to replace the Human Rights Act 1998 (“the HRA”), has been widely criticised by lawyers, academics and civil society organisations across the political spectrum as at best, ... Read more

Whistleblowers: what have we ever done for them?

Protect legal adviser, Emma Darlow Stearn, shares some reflections on the relationship between whistleblowers and journalists inspired by 'What have whistleblowers ever done for us?', a panel event at the British Library.  This week’s panel event, What have whistleblowers ever done for us? at the British Library was subject to Chatham House Rules, which means ... Read more

Protecting national security at the expense of the public interest: a zero sum game. 

Protect Legal Adviser, Emma Darlow Stearn, responds to the governments new National Security Bill, highlighting the grave risk it poses to whistleblowing and the fight against corruption and wrongdoing. With no specific safeguards for whistleblowers and legal uncertainty regarding whistleblower liability, the National Security Bill (“the bill”), in its current form, is likely to have ... Read more

France goes above and beyond for whistleblowers

Protect Legal Adviser, Emma Darlow Stearn, reflects on the significant legal protections provided to whistleblowers in France and how they can inform legal reform in the UK. It may be helpful to look across the channel for inspiration from France’s new whistleblowing law.   In 2019, the EU ‘whistleblowing’ directive was passed, setting a minimum standard ... Read more

Disclosures, public interest & the Official Secrets Act

At Protect, we believe that whistleblowing is a bedrock of our democracy and crucial to holding the government accountable, detecting fraud and preventing serious wrongdoing. The Official Secrets Act 1989 (the “OSA”) ensures civil servants keep some key national security information confidential but should not prevent whistleblowing altogether. A workshop on ‘Civil Society, National Security, ... Read more