Guidelines for the Protection of Witnesses and Whistle-blowers

This practice note[1] is issued by the Board of the Institute of Commercial Forensic Practitioners (ICFP) in terms of its Memorandum of Incorporation read with the ICFP Code of Ethics and Rules of Conduct. This practice note applies to all practising members of the ICFP.  This practice note will take effect on 14 July 2022.

The purpose of this Practice Note is to provide practical guidance to commercial forensic practitioners (CFPs) regarding the protection of persons who come into contact with CFPs in the context of commercial forensic investigations and who may face threats or be subjected to reprisals as a result of such interaction like witnesses and, specifically, whistle-blowers.

This Practice Note does not replace the ICFP’s Information Gathering Standards and should be read in conjunction therewith.

Read more

Due to the unique nature, sensitivity and circumstances of commercial forensic investigations, no guideline or operating procedure can cater for every situation. This Practice Note is not intended to codify practical rules, nor to address all relevant matters associated with the protection of witnesses and whistle-blowers.  It is primarily principle-based and rather aims to provide conceptual guidance and to assist with the application of professional judgment.  The guidance contained herein is intended to show what would generally be expected from a CFP, to clarify the meaning of relevant Standards and Codes of Conduct, and to assist CFPs in resolving questions of how to apply the said Standards and Codes of Conduct in particular situations.  It, however, remains the responsibility of CFPs to act in accordance with the applicable ICFP Code of Ethics, Rules of Conduct, Standards and prevailing law, whilst taking into account the specific facts and circumstances of each particular case.

[1] A ‘practice note’ is defined by Lexico as “A note published by the authority of a court, judge, or other official body (sometimes under express statutory provision), usually indicating how procedures should be handled”.