The ICC whistleblowing and whistleblower protection policy

The Court's policy on whistleblowing and whistleblower protection was promulgated in October 2014 through Presidential Directive ICC/PRESD/G/2014/003.

A whistleblower is any person who, acting in good faith, reports suspected wrongdoing to the appropriate authority in the Court.

The Court is committed to maintain the highest standards of integrity, transparency and accountability. The whistleblower policy seeks to create an environment in which any person that has genuine reason to suspect any form of wrongdoing has a clear and confidential avenue through which they can report such suspicions (or simply discuss them with a relevant authority in order to get a second opinion), and that any person who does so is protected from retaliation.

This protection element is extended by the policy to any person who cooperates with an authorised fact-finding process such as an audit or investigation. Indeed, the policy specifically states that retaliation constitutes a form of misconduct which can and will be investigated by the IOM and for which disciplinary action can result.

Whistleblowing, in spite of its somewhat light-hearted name, is not to be taken lightly or to be used for frivolous purposes. It is an important mechanism whereby the Court can identify and take action against serious issues at an early a stage as possible so as to minimise harm to the organisation and to any person affected.

Any person who suspects wrongdoing or misconduct should report this to the Head of the IOM as soon as is possible. Confidential advice or guidance on this subject can be obtained directly from the IOM.

Retaliation is defined by the Court's policy as:

"Any direct or indirect detrimental action recommended, threatened or taken because an individual engaged in an activity protected by the present policy."

Retaliation is not to be confused with the assessment of an individual's work performance made as part of a proper performance appraisal system, and does not include the mere expression of disagreement, admonishment or criticism unless these can be established as having been exercised in bad faith for the purpose of retaliation.

Any individual, who believes that he or she is being subject to retaliation, or that it may be a likelihood, is urged to promptly raise this matter with the Head of the IOM.