In a dispute following a mishap, a party causing injury may wish to convey his apology to the injured person for the loss and suffering sustained. Even if the former party genuinely believes that he has done nothing wrong, he may nevertheless still wish to convey his condolences or sympathy to the other party out of goodwill and benevolence. However, there is a general reluctance to make apology and lawyers are often reluctant to advise their clients to apologise. This is because the legal consequences of making an apology are not entirely clear, and that an apology may be relied on to establish liability in relevant legal proceedings.
The main objective of apology legislation is to promote and encourage the making of apologies in order to facilitate the amicable settlement of disputes by clarifying the legal consequences of making an apology.
The Steering Committee on Mediation has published a consultation paper on enact an apology legislation in Hong Kong for public consultation from 22 June 2015 for six weeks. Comments on the proposed apology legislation are welcomed by the Steering Committee which shouold be sent to the Mediation Team of the Department of Justice by 3 August 2015.