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Human rights and the emerging role of whistle-blowers in democracies

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Miriam Berg.

Whistleblowers serve a variety of purposes from the protection of the rule of law, democracy, and separation of powers, to a check on the corporate abuses of power. Whistleblowers face enormous risks. Those risks and the degree thereof, are related to the threats perceived by those governments and corporations whose misconduct is revealed. Whistleblowers and those who support them protect our human rights and help us to address corporate and government misconduct, and must themselves be better protected.

Robert Tibbo has had a wide-ranging career, encompassing chemical process engineering in Australia and management consulting in Hong Kong. He is most famous for his legal work, however, having qualified to practice law as a barrister in Hong Kong in 2005, followed by advanced training in asylum and refugee law, under Dr Manfred Nowak, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, in 2009. Since then, he has worked extensively on asylum and human rights cases, acting for refugees, conducting appeals for the transgender community, as well as handling cases in commercial, contract and employment law, including litigation against major banks and insurance companies.

Perhaps Robert Tibbo’s highest profile work is acting in extradition and deportation cases, including that of the American whistleblower Edward Snowden (currently in Moscow) and the refugees who sheltered Snowden (in Hong Kong). Mr. Tibbo successfully secured Mr. Snowden’s safety and security through the UNHCR in Hong Kong, facilitating his going underground in Hong Kong to avoid extraordinary rendition by the United States government, and safe passage for Snowden out of Hong Kong on 23 June 2013.

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This talk is part of the Human rights and the emerging role of whistle-blowers in democracies series.

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