Whistleblowers are likely to get better protections under law changes being considered by Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.

Mr Dreyfus on Thursday announced leaking charges against lawyer Bernard Collaery would be dropped after years of court action, much of it done out of the public eye.

Having taken on the attorney-general role after Labor won the May federal election, Mr Dreyfus has been drafting a bill to set up a federal integrity commission.

A task force in his department is looking at protections for people who highlight corruption or misconduct and seek to report their evidence to the commission.

“There will be a need to protect whistleblowers in connection with the work of the national anti-corruption commission,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“(People who give evidence) whether in private hearings or public hearings will also need to be expressly protected by the legislation.”

Mr Dreyfus said more broadly he had a long-standing commitment to the protection of “genuine whistleblowers”.

He said it was disappointing the former coalition government had not acted on the findings of a statutory review from six years conducted by former public servant Philip Moss.

“I’m now looking closely at the implementation of Mr Moss’ recommendations and you can expect to hear more from me in coming months about that,” Mr Dreyfus said.

Former Liberal attorney-general George Brandis declined to say why he did not pursue the Collaery prosecution, while his successor Christian Porter went ahead.

“When I was the attorney-general I had to consider that case and, as you know, I didn’t authorise a prosecution for reasons that I don’t propose to comment on publicly,” Mr Brandis told ABC radio on Friday.

Asked whether authorising the 2013 raid on Mr Collaery’s home was a mistake, Mr Brandis said: “There are certain things that it’s not appropriate to comment on and this was one of them.”

GetUp democracy campaign director Tosca Lloyd said there was more work to be done on whistleblower protections, including the dropping of prosecutions against David McBride and Richard Boyle.

“Whistleblower protections in Australia are woefully inadequate and must be reformed to safeguard journalists and their sources,” she said.

“Dropping cases against individual whistleblowers is just the beginning of ensuring press freedom in this country. We need real and deep reform to our whistleblower protections.”

Mr McBride blew the whistle on alleged war crimes in Afghanistan, while Mr Boyle faces trial over revealing alleged unethical practices at the tax office.

The Law Council said the Collaery case not only highlighted the need for better whistleblower protection but also reform of national security laws, which it argued tilt the balance too far in favour of protecting security at the expense of the rights of the accused.