Parties’ Perceptions of Apologies in Resolving Equal Opportunity Complaints

(2010) 17(4) Journal of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 538-550

UWA Faculty of Law Research Paper

25 Pages Posted: 23 Dec 2013

See all articles by Alfred Allan

Alfred Allan

Dr

Dianne McKillop

Edith Cowan University

Robyn Carroll

University of Western Australia

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

Apologies are known to play an important role in the resolution of equal complaints brought under equal opportunity legislation. Sometimes parties agree on an apology as a term on which the complaint is settled. Occasionally, where a complaint is not settled, a respondent will be ordered to apologize. The ability to order an apology is a distinctive feature of equal opportunity law in Australia. The aim of the researchers was to gather information on the role of apologies in the equal opportunity jurisdiction in Western Australia. Twenty-four complainants and respondents took part in semi-structured interviews. Qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts revealed that participants placed a positive value on apologies in the settlement process. They believed apologies serve a number of functions and have the potential to play a valuable role in the resolution of discrimination and harassment complaints. It appears that respondents may be more inclined to offer apologies if they have their legal position clarified.

Keywords: apology, equal opportunity, discrimination, harassment, tribunals, boards

Suggested Citation

Allan, Alfred and McKillop, Dianne and Carroll, Robyn, Parties’ Perceptions of Apologies in Resolving Equal Opportunity Complaints (2010). (2010) 17(4) Journal of Psychiatry, Psychology and Law 538-550, UWA Faculty of Law Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2371138

Alfred Allan (Contact Author)

Dr ( email )

270 Joondalup Drive
Joondalup, WA Victoria 6027
Australia
863045650 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ecu.edu.au/schools/arts-and-humanities/staff/profiles/professors/professor-alfred-allan

Dianne McKillop

Edith Cowan University ( email )

Mount Lawley Campus
Perth
Churchlands 6018 WA, Victoria
Australia

Robyn Carroll

University of Western Australia ( email )

M253
35 Stirling Highway
Crawley, Western Australia 6009
Australia

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