Ethics and corporate whistleblowing rewards in Australia

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The once slow evolution of Australian corporate whistleblowing reform has accelerated remarkably in recent years, and reforming legislation is now before Federal Parliament in the form of the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Whistleblower Protections) Bill 2017 (Cth). One of the most controversial aspects considered for inclusion in those reforms was the introduction of a whistleblowing rewards (or ‘bounties’) scheme. Although not part of the Bill, this significant potential reform is likely to remain under consideration, given its recommendation by the 2017 Parliamentary Joint Inquiry into whistleblowing. Key among the factors raised in opposition to the introduction of whistleblowing rewards in the Australian context appears to have been a range of ethical concerns with the intrinsic nature of such a scheme. This article reviews those concerns and offers some possible responses, as well as suggesting practical mechanisms with potential to assist in allowing for a well-designed rewards system that addresses ethical concerns. Ultimately the article concludes that the introduction of rewards for corporate whistleblowing in Australia should remain a reform focus.Ethics and corporate whistleblowing rewards in Australia (2018) 33 Aust Jnl of Corp Law 402
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-424
Number of pages23
JournalAustralian Journal of Corporate Law
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Corporations Law
  • whistleblower protections
  • whistleblowing


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