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Position of the Rule of Law Initiative on the draft amendments to the Whistleblower Protection Act

We want to express our support and acknowledgement of the recent common statement of the Rule of Law Initiative. The broad business community of employers' and business associations and chambers of commerce united in the Rule of Law Initiative is calling on Slovak MPs to reject proposed changes to the Whistleblower Protection Act, which they say will make it more difficult to detect corruption offences and limit the rights of whistleblowers.

The Rule of Law Initiative disagrees with the Government's proposal for an abbreviated legislative procedure on the Government's bill amending Act No. 54/2019 Coll. on the Protection of Whistleblowers of Anti-Social Activity and on Amendments and Additions to Certain Acts, as amended by Act No. 189/2023 Coll. As an initiative, they have long expressed their concern about the negative consequences of proposals adopted through the abbreviated legislative procedure. Such changes are adopted without taking into account the views and needs of those affected. They are adopted without assessing their impact on the country's economy, the business environment, social cohesion, the environment, public security, human rights, international commitments and other relevant aspects. This violates not only the principle of the rule of law, but also the principle of a democratic and social market economy, which are enshrined in the Constitution of the Slovak Republic.

The specific proposal to amend the Law on the Protection of Whistleblowers of Anti-Social Activities, as currently drafted, may be contrary to the European Union Whistleblower Protection Directive. The Whistleblower Protection Office draws attention to the problematic nature of the possible retroactive revision of protected whistleblower statuses already granted in view of the principle of non-retroactivity and the exposure of existing whistleblowers to enormous legal uncertainty. The proposed changes also include a limitation of protection for members of the Slovak police force, which in the realities of Slovakia would negatively affect the state of the rule of law in Slovakia.

Read more at pravnystat.sk.