White Paper on the Law of Whistleblowing

6 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2012 Last revised: 11 Feb 2015

See all articles by Kathleen Clark

Kathleen Clark

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law

Date Written: November 1, 2012


Whistleblowers play an important role in fighting corruption, in protecting the public and the environment from harm, and in providing accountability for the violation of legal norms. When an individual blows the whistle on alleged wrongdoing, she may suffer severe financial consequences. The law recognizes the social good that can come from whistleblowing by providing some protection for them and encouraging such conduct in a variety of ways. This paper provides a definition of whistleblowing, describes five distinct ways that the law encourages it, and identifies some of the key legal concepts found in the law of whistleblowing, including the tension between whistleblowing and other legal norms.

Keywords: Checks and Balances, Legislation, Secrecy, Oversight, Public Law, Ethics, Privacy, Employment, Whistleblowers, Whistleblowing, Retaliation, Federal Government Employment, Corporate Governance

Suggested Citation

Clark, Kathleen, White Paper on the Law of Whistleblowing (November 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2176293 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2176293

Kathleen Clark (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States
314-935-4081 (Phone)
314-935-6493 (Fax)

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