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From Immunity to Impunity: International Whistleblowers Unite!

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The second annual meeting of whistleblowers held in Washington DC. May 11- 18, 2008 expanded its focus from a purely American to a global focus. Guided by advisor Jeffrey Wigand (aka “The Insider”), the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW) teamed up with the Government Accountability Project (GAP), led by legal director Tom Devine Esq. GAP is the one of the world's leading whistleblower protection organizations. 
 
Because International Financial Institutions (IFIs) enjoy immunity from national laws, international whistleblowers are extremely vulnerable to retaliation. IFI staff members and project beneficiaries who blew the whistle because of legal immunities; a case in which both the whistleblower and the project beneficiaries were victimized by a World Bank health care project and the corruption it fostered in India; and a decision in a groundbreaking case allowing a lawsuit to proceed against an IFI in US District Court. Panelists at the GAP-IAW event included:
 
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o        Mishka Zaman, Asia Program Director of the Bank Information Center. Zaman will discuss the transparency and accountability practices of the Asian Development Bank, identifying issues where the rhetoric and the reality diverge.
o        Kunal Saha, M.D. An independent HIV/AIDS researcher, Dr. Saha served on the investigation team of the Department of Institutional Integrity of the World Bank and exposed corruption in the National AIDS Control Project II in India. 
o        Douglas Hartnett, Elitko and Hartnett at Law, LLC. Hartnett successfully challenged the immunity of an IFI in Vila v. the Inter-American Investment Corporation. A ruling in favor of the plaintiff was made by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in February, 2008.
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This theme continued as the National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. (NJCDLP) co-hosted a "Citizens' Forum On Judicial Accountability" at the Stewart Mott House on Capitol Hill.  NJCDLP Executive Director, Zena Crenshaw, explains how all relevant perspectives were brought to bear.  "First we invited a blue ribbon, deliberately bi-partisan presiding panel to include the Honorable Eileen Olds, president of the American Judges Association."  According to Crenshaw, the program "began with an academic debate on the appropriate scope of judicial accountability in America and end with pre-screened testimony from private citizens that should suggest problems beyond isolated miscarriages of justice."  Also, "renowned civil rights activist and former constitutional law professor attorney Thomas N. Todd introduced through a pre-recorded interview the contention that Congress should nationalize free speech standards for critiquing judges in the interest of zealous advocacy and fair trials".

The joint task force of International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW) urges you to write your congressman, your senator, the media, and your friends to support the goal of a safer, freer America and better world.

James J. Murtagh Jr.
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Atlanta GA 30329

 

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James J. Murtagh, Jr. is a doctor of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine, and the Medical Director of several sleep laboratories in Southern Ohio. Dr. Murtagh extensively writes on medical ethics. Dr. Murtagh is the founder of a new (more...)
 

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