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The proposed Apologies Act for Scotland : good intentions with unforeseeable consequences

Irvine, Charlie (2013) The proposed Apologies Act for Scotland : good intentions with unforeseeable consequences. Edinburgh Law Review, 17 (1). pp. 84-90. ISSN 1364-9809

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Abstract

This article considers Scotland's proposed Apologies Act in the light of experience in other Common Law jurisdictions. A number of Common Law jurisdictions have passed Apologies Acts in the past 25 years, largely motivated by concerns about a 'litigation explosion'. The idea seems to be that providing evidentiary protection to apologies will encourage their use, or at least prevent insurers and lawyers from advising against them. Charlie Irvine considers the plausibility of this hypothesis and suggests that the drafters of the Bill face an unresolvable dilemma: blanket protection for apologies may prevent credible evidence from reaching the courts, while narrowing that protection to exclude admissions of fault may stilt apologies and rob them of credibility.