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Apologies (Scotland) Bill passed 20/01/2016 The Scottish Parliament has passed the Apologies (Scotland) Bill, which will remove a legal barrier to individuals and organisations apologising for a mistake.

Apologies (Scotland) Bill passed

The Scottish Parliament has passed the Apologies (Scotland) Bill, which will remove a legal barrier to individuals and organisations apologising for a mistake.

The Bill – a Member’s Bill introduced by Margaret Mitchell, MSP – is aimed at promoting a social and cultural change in attitudes to the giving of apologies.

In general terms, it makes provisions for the effect of an apology in certain civil legal proceedings, following similar legislation adopted in certain other common law jurisdictions, primarily the USA, Canada and Australia.

The definition of ‘apology’ in the Bill is: “any statement made by or on behalf of a person which indicates that the person is sorry about, or regrets, an act, omission or outcome and includes any part of the statement which contains an undertaking to look at the circumstances giving rise to the act, omission or outcome with a view to preventing a recurrence.”

The Bill will apply to all civil legal proceedings, except inquiries under the Inquiries Act 2005, Fatal Accident Inquiries, proceedings under the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, defamation proceedings, and apologies made in accordance with the duty of candour procedure set out in Part 2 of the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016.

Criminal proceedings are not covered.

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