Tribunal increases protection for World Bank whistleblowers

14 September 2011

In June, the World Bank Administrative Tribunal, an internal body that oversees the treatment of employees, ordered the Bank to reinstate a former staff member, John Kim, who was fired in 2007 for telling a journalist about conflicts between former Bank president Paul Wolfowitz and the Bank’s board of directors. Kim leaked the minutes of a meeting on budget priorities between Wolfowitz and the Bank’s board (see Update 55). The tribunal’s ruling also increased protection for Bank employees against excessive punishment for revealing information to the press. Stephani Ayers, an attorney working with the US NGO Government Accountability Project, and who defended Kim in the case, said that "what gives this decision such force and international precedent is that these are renowned and accomplished jurists. Together, they articulate global norms of fairness in an international workplace."