Following the first round consultation on the proposed enactment of apology legislation in Hong Kong conducted in 2015, the Steering Committee on Mediation chaired by the Secretary for Justice launched a second round consultation in February 2016 inviting comments on:
- excepted proceedings to which the proposed apology legislation shall not apply;
- whether the factual information conveyed in an apology should likewise be protected by the proposed apology legislation; and
- the draft Apology Bill.
The objective of the proposed 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 Law Society has reviewed the consultation paper and prepared a written submission. Among other things, the Law Society considers that the proposed apology legislation goes beyond its stated objective and its concerns raised in the first round consultation have not been addressed sufficiently or at all. The Law Society also does not agree that the proposed apology legislation should be applicable to the Solicitors Disciplinary Proceedings.
The Law Society’s full submissions on the Consultation Paper are available at http://www.hklawsoc.org.hk/pub_e/news/ submissions/20160428.pdf.