3 November 2022

Leading NGOs urge end to criminal prosecution of whistleblowers

The Whistleblowing International Network (WIN), and 17 whistleblowing protection, anti-corruption, and human rights organisations, including Transparency International Australia, have written to Attorney General Mark Dreyfus to express deep concern about the ongoing criminal prosecution of Australian whistleblowers Mr Richard Boyle and Mr David McBride and to urge him to urgently take steps to restore faith in Australia’s whistleblowing laws.  

Mr Doyle, blew the whistle on serious wrongdoing at the Australian Taxation Office, concerning staff being instructed to use harsher debt collection tactics on small businesses.

Mr McBride, a former Army Lawyer, spoke out on war crimes allegedly committed by Australian forces serving in Afghanistan.

Despite raising matters of serious public interest – and both since vindicated by independent investigations – these prosecutions have continued for over 4 years.

This letter calls for the Attorney-General to urgently intervene to stop the injustice caused by these prosecutions and minimise the chilling effect of these cases.  It is also crucial that Australia’s whistleblowing law is fixed to ensure such cases can never happen again.