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mr. L.A.B.M. Wijntjens


Tilburg Law School
Department of Private Law


'Mea culpa' and civil justice: towards an apology-friendly tort system

My PhD-research aims to examine the role and effect of apologies in tort law. Tort systems focus on compensation and deterrence of financial losses.Consequently, apologies do not have a place within the tort system, despite the fact that they have been found to be beneficial to dispute resolution. Moreover, in the shadow of existing or possible civil litigation it is widely assumed that courts could or will see an apology as admission of liability. As a result, the fear of liability prevents defendants (and potential defendants) from apologizing. Empirical research has not yet examined whether (1) this fear is justified, nor (2) has it analyzed how to reduce that fear.This research takes on both of these elements and, consequently, designs building blocks for a tort system that permits acknowledgement of victims? emotional needs (through apologies) other than by means of awarding damages.




Principal publications

  • L.A.B.M. Wijntjens, 'Excuses en aansprakelijkheid: In hoeverre en op welke wijze beïnvloeden excuses het oordeel van de rechter?', WPNR 2016-7092.

Click here for the list of publications in the Research Portal

Last amended: 17 May 2018