Robert Vaughn

Professor of Law
A. Allen King Scholar

Office: Room 412
Phone: 202-274-4242
E-mail: vCard


During his career at WCL, Robert Vaughn has been Scholar-in-Residence with the law faculty of King’s College of the University of London, a visiting academic with the faculty of law at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, a visiting professor at the University of San Diego School of Law and a visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University School of Law in Kyoto, Japan. He has also served as a faculty member in summer programs in Santiago, Chile and Istanbul, Turkey. At WCL, he has received nine awards for outstanding teaching and four awards for scholarship. In 1983 he was selected as American University’s Teacher/Scholar of the Year, the university’s highest faculty award. During his visit at the University of San Diego School of Law, the student body there elected him Professor of the Year.

He has published on a variety of topics regarding public information law, public employment law, consumer law, and whistleblower protection. He is the author of a book on federal open government laws in the United States, the editor of a book on freedom of information, and the author of several articles addressing public information law. He has written several books on public employment law, including ones on civil service reform, principles of civil service law, conflict of interest regulation in the federal government, and the United States Merit Systems Protection Board. His public employment law articles address topics, such as, the right to disobey illegal orders, ethics in government, the Hatch Act, the role of public employment laws in the transition to democracy, and British regulation of public service ethics. He is the author of a book and related articles on consumer protection laws in South America. He is the author of a book examining the effectiveness of whistleblower laws. His articles on whistleblower protection address important statutes, such as the whistleblower provision of the Civil Service Reform Act, the whistleblower provision of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, state whistleblower laws, and the model law to implement the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption. He is also the author of a book on civil procedure and articles on judicial reform and on the future of the federal courts.

Among his consulting positions have been ones with the Treasury and Civil Service Committee of the House of Commons, the World Bank, and the Office of Legal Cooperation of the Organization of American States. He has testified several times before Congress on civil service reform, the federal Freedom of Information Act, and whistleblower protection. He was the plaintiff in the landmark case, Vaughn v. Rosen, that established important procedural requirements for litigation under the federal Freedom of Information Act.



Currently Teaching

There are no classes currently associated with this professor.

Areas of Specialization

  • Information Law and Privacy
  • Public Employment Law
  • The Civil Jury

Degrees & Universities

  • LL.M., Harvard University 1970
  • J.D., University of Oklahoma Law School 1969
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma 1966

  • Selected Publications

    • Robert Vaughn, The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws (Edward Elgar 2012).
    • Lewis Grossman & Robert Vaughn, A Documentary Companion to "A Civil Action" (4th ed., Found. Press 2008).
    • Robert Vaughn, Whistleblower Protection and the Challenge to Public Employment Law, in Public Sector Employment in the Twenty-First Century (Australian Natl. U. Press 2007).
    • + More Publications...

    • Books

    • Robert Vaughn, Freedom of Information, The International Library of Essays in Law and Legal Theory (Tom D. Campbell, ed., 2d Series, Darthmouth Publg. Co. 2000).
    • Robert Vaughn & David Jaffe, South American Consumer Protection Laws (Kluwer L. Intl. 1996).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Merit Systems Protection Board: Rights and Remedies (with Annual Supplements 1986-1994) (Rev. ed. 1995, L. J. Seminars-Press 1995 (With annual revisions 1996 - Present)).
    • Robert Vaughn, A Guide to Practices & Procedures Under the Freedom of Information Act, Privacy Act, Sunshine Act, Advisory Committee Act (Prentice-Hall 1981).
    • Robert Vaughn, Conflict-of-Interest Regulation in the Federal Executive Branch (Lexington Books 1979).
    • Robert Vaughn, Principles of Civil Service Law (Matthew Bender 1976).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Spoiled System: A Call for Civil Service Reform (Charterhouse 1975).
    • Robert Vaughn, Impoundment of Health Funds by the Nixon Administration: An Analysis and Case Study: Colleges of Podiatric Medicine v. Ash & Weinberger (Sci. & Health Publications 1973).
    • Robert Vaughn, Post-Employment Restrictions and the Regulation of Lobbying by Former Employees, in Lobbying Manual (4th ed., ABA Sec. of Admin. L. & Prac. 2009).
    • Robert Vaughn, "Civil Service Laws," "Disclosures," "Open Meeting Laws," & "Public Record Laws", in Encyclopedia of Privacy (Greenwood Press 2007).
    • Other Publications

    • Robert Vaughn, "Civil Service Reform Act," "Ethics in Government Act," "Freedom of Information Act," "Whistleblower Protection Laws", Major Acts of Congress (McMillan Ref. 2003).
    • Robert Vaughn, Thomas Devine, & Keith Henderson, The Whistleblower Statute Prepared for the Organization of American States and the Global Legal Revolution Protecting Whistleblowers, 35 Geo. Wash. Intl. L. Rev. 857 (2003).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Relationship Between Freedom of Information and Whistleblower Protection, 99 Freedom of Info. Rev. 29 (2002).
    • Robert Vaughn, Transparency--the Mechanisms: Open Government and Accountability, 5 Issues in Democracy 2 (2000) (reprinted in U.S. Department of State, International Information Programs).
    • Robert Vaughn, State Whistleblowers Statutes and the Future of Whistleblowers Protection, 51 Admin L. Rev. 581 (1999).
    • Robert Vaughn, Normative Controversies Underlying Contemporary Debates About Civil Justice Reform: A Way of Talking About Bureaucracy and the Future of the Federal Courts, 79 Denv. U. L. Rev. 217 (1998).
    • Robert Vaughn, A Comparative Analysis of the Influence of Legislative History on Judicial Decision-Making and Legislation, 7 Ind. Intl. & Comp. L. Rev. 1 (1996).
    • Robert Vaughn, Chilean Consumer Protection Standards and the United Nations Guidelines on Consumer Protection: A Comparative Study Revealing Regional Conflicts, 22 N.C. J. Intl. L. & Com. Reg. 2 (1996).
    • Robert Vaughn, Use of Simulations in a First-Year Civil Procedure Class, 45 J. Leg. Educ. 480 (1995).
    • Robert Vaughn, Consumer Protection Laws in South America, 17 Hastings Int. & Comp. L. Rev. 275 (1994).
    • Robert Vaughn, Federal Information Policy and Administrative Law, in Handbook of Regulation and Administrative Law (Marcel Dekker 1994) (reprinted in Sargentich, T. ed., Administrative Law Anthology. Anderson Publishing).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Future of the Freedom of Information Act, Vol. 9 No. 23 Govt. Info. Q. 223 (1992).
    • Robert Vaughn, Proposals For Judicial Reform In Chile, 16 Fordham Intl. L. Rev. 577 (1992-93).
    • Robert Vaughn, Public Employment Law and the Transition to Democracy in Chile, 23 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev. 389 (1992).
    • Robert Vaughn, The U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board and Office of Special Counsel, in The Promise and Paradox of Civil Service Reform (U. of Pitt. Press 1992).
    • Robert Vaughn, Consumer Product Safety Information and the Future of the Freedom of Information Act, 9 Admin L. Rev. 673 (1991).
    • Robert Vaughn, Examples of the Use of The Concept of Personal Personal Responsibility in Legislation to Protect Human Rights, in Constitucional Compardo: Mexico y Los Estados Unidos (Inst. of Investigations of the Natl. Autonomous U. of Mex. 1991 (Published in Spanish)).
    • Robert Vaughn, Ethics in Government and the Vision of Public Service, 58 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 417 (1990).
    • Robert Vaughn, Book Review: Fisher, L., Constitutional Dialogues: Interpretation as Political Process, 49 Pub. Admin. Rev. 391 (1989).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Performance of the United States Merit Systems Protection Board: The Foundation for Future Regulation, 17 Policy Stud. J. 352 (1989).
    • Robert Vaughn, Whistleblowing in Academic Research, in Report of Workshop Number Two on the Project on Scientific Fraud and Misconduct (Am. Assn. for the Advancement of Science 1989).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Civil Service Reform Act and Legal Regulation of Public Bureaucracies, 31 How. L.J. 187 (1988).
    • Robert Vaughn, Government Information Laws and Human Rights (published in Spanish), 6 Revista de Chilena Derechos Humanos 4 (July 1987).
    • Robert Vaughn, Federal Employment Decisions of the Federal Circuit, 36 Am. U. L. Rev 825 (1987).
    • Robert Vaughn, Federal Employment Decisions of the Federal Circuit, 35 Am. U. L. Rev. 1037 (1986).
    • Robert Vaughn, Administrative Alternatives and the Federal Freedom of Information Act, 45 Ohio St. L.J. 185 (1984) (reprinted in FOIA: Alternative Dispute Resolution Proposals, Hearings before a Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations).
    • Robert Vaughn, Open Government Laws and Public Employment Provisions, 32 Buff. L. Rev. 465 (1983).
    • Robert Vaughn, Statutory Protection of Whistleblowers in the Federal Executive Branch, 1982 U. Ill. L. Rev. 615 (1982).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Opinions of the Merit Systems Protection Board: A Study in Administration Adjudication, 34 Admin L. Rev. 25 (1982).
    • Robert Vaughn, Civil Service Discipline and the Application of Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, 1982 Utah L. Rev. 339 (1982).
    • Robert Vaughn, Statutory Control of Post-Employment Activities of Public Employees in the United States and Differences Between American and British Government Relevant to Restrictions on the Activities of Former Public Employees, in Fourth Report from the Treasury and Civil Service Committee, Acceptance of Outside Appointments by Crown Servants (House of Commons, Sess 1980-81 Mar. 9, 1981).
    • Robert Vaughn, Implications of the British Experience on Some Current Issues with Administrative Regulation of Conflicts of Interest in the Federal Civil Service, 30 Am. U. L. Rev. 705 (1981).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Role of Statutory Regulations of Public Service Ethics in Great Britian and the United States, 4 Hastings Intl. & Comp. L. Rev. 341 (1981).
    • Robert Vaughn, Structural Changes in the Civil Service to Advance Public Interest Advocacy, in Public Interest Perspectives: The Next Four Years (Pub. Citizen 1977).
    • Robert Vaughn, Public Employees and the Right to Disobey, 29 Hastings L.J. 261 (1977).
    • Robert Vaughn, Whistleblowing and the Character of Public Employment, 6 The Bureaucrat 29 (1977).
    • Robert Vaughn, Preferences in Public Employment, 25 Am. U. L. Rev. 659 (1976).
    • Robert Vaughn, Restrictions on the Political Activities of Public Employees: The Hatch Act and Beyond, 44 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 516 (1976) (reprinted in Hearings before the Subcommittee on Civil Service of the Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, House of Representatives, 95th Congress, 1st session, 82, (1977)).
    • Robert Vaughn, Discovery and the Freedom of Information Act: What Uncle Sam Has to Offer, Litig. Mag. (1975).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Sanctions Provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 25 Am. U. L. Rev. 7 (1975).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Personal Accountability of Public Employees, 25 Am. U. L. Rev. 85 (1975).
    • Robert Vaughn, The Freedom of Information Act and Vaughn v. Rosen, 23 Am. U. L. Rev. 865 (1974).
    • Robert Vaughn, State Air Pollution Control Boards: The Inerest Group Model and the Lawyers's Role, 24 Okla. L. Rev. 25 (1971).