Hong Kong, 8 December 2017: Boase Cohen & Collins Partner Alex Liu took centre stage when he addressed a seminar on the subject of Hong Kong’s new Apology Ordinance.
The legislation, which came into effect on 1 December, is designed to encourage the making of apologies to prevent escalation of disputes and facilitate their amicable resolution.
Mr Liu explained the background, objectives and key points surrounding the new “sorry law” at a seminar to core members of the HK Public Relations Professionals’ Association (PRPA).
“The Apology Ordinance is the result of a comprehensive review of similar legislation in various jurisdictions and follows two rounds of public consultation,” said Mr Liu. “More than 50 countries, including the UK, US, Canada and Australia have enacted similar legislation, but Hong Kong is the first jurisdiction in Asia to do so and, it should be noted, the scope of this new law is broader than anywhere else.
“While the Apology Ordinance is certainly a positive addition to our dispute resolution framework, it does require some explaining. For example, an apology does not constitute admission of fault or liability and, generally, must not be taken into account for purposes of applicable proceedings.”
The new legislation is expected to be typically used in disputes involving personal injuries, defamation and medical claims where monetary compensation might not be the top priority of victims.
Mr Liu added: “I was delighted to be invited by the PRPA to address the seminar and I received positive feedback from those who attended.”