University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series
Last Updated: 6 June 2013
The Apology in Civil Lliability: Underused and Undervalued?
Prue Vines, University of New South Wales
This paper is available for download at Available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2275208
This paper was published in (2013) 115 Precedent 28-31. This paper may also be referenced as  UNSWLRS 34.
Australian jurisdictions have introduced the protected apology, but it is undermined by the variation across the jurisdictions in relation to what aspects of civil liability it applies to, the definitions of apology and lack of knowledge of its existence in the community. The author discusses the problems with the apology protecting laws, particularly in the area of medical malpractice, and suggests three ways to enhance their effectiveness – putting them in stand-alone statutes, make them apply to all forms of civil liability, and define apology to include acknowledgement of fault in all legislation. Only in this way will they achieve what was intended when they were enacted.