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Protecting Whistleblowers

Persons reporting corruption will benefit from a tailored protection, regardless of the field of their company activity.

Country: France

Status: complete

Themes: Whistleblower/civil society space protection

Last updated: October 2019


Concrete: Somewhat Concrete | New: New | Ambitious: Ambitious

  • 2 Notes:

    Chapter 2 of Sapin II enshrines protection for whistle-blowers, which are defined as “any individual who reveals or reports, disinterestedly and in good faith, a crime or offence; a serious and manifest breach of an international commitment duly ratified or approved by France, of an unilateral act of an international organisation adopted on the basis of such commitment, or a serious breach of a law or regulation; or a serious threat or harm to the public interest, of which he/she has had personal knowledge.” Facts, information or documents, whatever their form or support, covered by professional secrecy (lawyer or doctor) and national defence secrecy are excluded from the scheme. To benefit from a protection, the law provides that a whistle-blower must first make its reports to a direct or indirect supervisor or a person appointed for this purpose and if not followed by any action, to the judicial or administrative authority, or the representative of a professional order. As a last resort, the report may be made public/reported to the press. The report may also be addressed to the defender of rights (“Défenseur des droits”) that will help direct it to the relevant authority in charge of collecting reports. Internal reporting procedures have to be implemented when certain thresholds are met, including where a company has of more than 50 employees. By adopting a single law, France has finally joined the pioneer countries by providing the means to effectively fight corruption and protect those who have the courage to denounce it.

France's Commitments
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