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Whistleblowing and self-reporting
Are whistleblowers protected in your jurisdiction?
At present, there is no specific legislation in Hong Kong which protects or rewards whistleblowers. However, a number of measures exist which ensure the confidentiality of corruption reports to the Independent Commission Against Corruption to protect the anonymity and personal safety of informers, grant immunity to witnesses and prevent unfair treatment.
Subject to certain limited exceptions, Section 30A of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance provides a framework under which the names and addresses of informers are protected from use in civil or criminal proceedings.
Is it common for leniency to be shown to organisations that self-report and/or cooperate with authorities? If so, what process must be followed?
There are no formal voluntary disclosure programmes that can assist an entity in claiming amnesty or reduced penalties. Instead, it will be determined by the authorities on a case-by-case basis. Hong Kong prosecutors target individuals and if a person voluntarily discloses criminal conduct by way of self-reporting or cooperates with the authorities, this would operate as a powerful mitigating factor. It would influence the prosecutor’s decision on whether immunity should be granted, although this is not guaranteed. Alternatively, if convicted, he or she could receive a reduced sentence.
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