Does the law provide protection to whistle-blowers?
Bribery & Corruption
A special legislation namely the Whistleblowers Protection Act, 2011 provides protective measures for anyone who exposes corruption or willful misuse of power by a public servant. The Act establishes a mechanism for receiving complaints of corruption, willful misuse of power / discretion against any public servant and to enquire into such complains. The Act also provides for adequate safeguards against victimization of the complainant and requires the relevant authorities to ensure the complainant’s anonymity as well.
There is no special regime providing protection to whistle-blowers.
However, as explained in answer 10, the sentence can be especially reduced when the agent concretely aids in obtaining or producing decisive proofs for the identification or the capture of other responsible parties, up until the closing of the trial hearing in the first instance.
Although there is no general framework granting special protection to whistle-blowers, there are several rules in the Portuguese legal system that dispense with or mitigate the sentence of the a perpetrator who reports the crime under certain conditions (with restricted time limitations), or who plays a decisive cooperative role in obtaining evidence that allows the identification and capturing apprehension of others involved. As an example of such rules, we emphasize Article 374-B of the Penal Code, Article 8 of Law no. 36/94, Article 5 of Law no. 20/2008 and Article 19-A of Law no. 34/87.
Article 4 of Law no. 19/2008 also provides that public service workers and workers of the State business sector, as well as private sector workers who report the commission of acts of infringement they become aware of in the exercise of their functions or because of them, shall not be adversely affected in any way, including by way of non-voluntary transfer or dismissal. Such workers are also entitled to anonymity until they are indicted, except only in what concerns investigators. After the indictment, they also have the possibility of being transferred to exercise other functions, upon their request, which cannot be denied.
Finally, there is also Law no. 93/99 which sets out the protection measures for witnesses in criminal proceedings.