Consultation on Enactment of Apology Legislation in Hong Kong

The Steering Committee on Mediation (“Steering Committee”) chaired by the Secretary for Justice on 22 June 2015 published a consultation paper on the enactment of an apology legislation in Hong Kong (“Consultation Paper”).

The Consultation Paper sets out the following seven recommendations made by the Steering Committee for public comments:

(a) an apology legislation is to be enacted in Hong Kong;

(b) the apology legislation is to apply to civil and other forms of non-criminal proceedings including disciplinary proceedings;

(c) the apology legislation is to cover full apologies;

(d) the apology legislation is to apply to the Government;

(e) the apology legislation expressly precludes an admission of a claim by way of an apology from constituting an acknowledgement of a right of action for the purpose of the Limitation Ordinance;

(f) the apology legislation expressly provides that an apology shall not affect any insurance coverage that is, or would be, available to the person making the apology; and

(g) the apology legislation is to take the form of a stand-alone legislation.

The Council has reviewed the Consultation Paper with the assistance of the Civil Litigation Committee, Mediation Committee, Personal Injuries Committee, Insurance Law Committee and Investment Products and Financial Services Committee. The Law Society is in principle in support of the enactment of the apology legislation, but at the same time the Law Society has highlighted various issues which call for further consideration.

The Law Society’s full submissions on the Consultation Paper is available at http://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/pub_e/news/submissions/20150807.pdf.

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