Susan Daicoff, ‘Apology, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Therapeutic Jurisprudence’

Abstract:
In 2010, public apologies underscored the power of contrition. Professional golfer Tiger Woods apologized for his marital unfaithfulness by saying, “I want to say to each one of you simply and directly I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in”. The chairman of BP Oil Company apologized for referring to local individuals and businesses as “small people” and said, “I spoke clumsily this afternoon, and for that, I am very sorry”. Toyota Motor Corporation’s president apologized for the braking defects in the company’s cars by saying, “First, I want to sincerely apologize to Toyota owners. I know that our recalls have caused many of you concern and for that I am truly sorry.” One reporter in 2004 asserted that “[t]he power of the words, ‘I’m sorry’ – too little heard in daily life and all but forgotten in modem politics – may be stronger than we know”.

Daicoff, Susan, Apology, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2013). Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal, Vol 13, 2013; Arizona Summit Law School Research Paper.

First posted 2014-06-06 12:24:59

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