Apologies, Non-Apologies and Conflict Resolution

For experienced negotiators, advocates, mediators, ombudspersons, human rights officers, harassment officers, and trainers in the fields of conflict management, dispute resolution or restorative justice.

DATE: October 3, 2003, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (arrival and coffee at 8:30 a.m.)
LOCATION: Dunsmuir Lodge, near Victoria, British Columbia
FEE: $350 (Canadian dollars, includes lunch, refreshments, workshop materials and $22.90 GST; tuition portion of $296.50 tax deductible).
See also our workshop on "Listening."

October 23, 2003: Workshop notes now online.

A sincere apology is often the key to the resolution of a conflict. It may be crucial for some people to receive an apology from those who have offended them. Why do people want apologies? Why apologize? And how? Why do some apologies seem false or hollow? What are the characteristics of a sincere apology? How can dispute resolvers help people to make clear, sincere and effective apologies in the context of negotiation or mediation? What about the legal consequences of apologizing? This workshop will explore current research on the language, psychology and ethics of apologies. Participants will have opportunities to analyse and practice apologies and consider the challenges of working with parties in cases that call for apologies.

Featuring:       Janet Bavelas   .   Catherine Morris

Janet BavelasJanet Bavelas, Ph.D, is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Victoria. She teaches, conducts research and writes on language and social interaction, face-to-face dialogue, nonverbal communication and discourse analysis (especially legal and therapeutic discourse). Relevant recent research includes studies of how people listen in conversation and an analysis of apologies of churches to First Nations in Canada. She has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Psychological Association, and the Royal Society of Canada. In 2000, she received the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Teaching Excellence. See PDF document: Janet Bavelas, An Analysis of Formal Apologies by Canadian Churches to First Nations, Occasional Paper No. 1, Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, University of Victoria, July 2004.

Catherine MorrisCatherine Morris, B.A., LL.B., LL.M, director of Peacemakers Trust, is a lawyer with experience in the field of conflict resolution since 1983. A former Executive Director of the Institute for Dispute Resolution at the University of Victoria, she has conducted workshops and made presentations in Canada, the United States, Thailand, Cambodia and Bangladesh. See Catherine Morris' workshop paper. See also a bibliography on apologies and forgiveness.


photo © Peacemakers Trust
photo © Peacemakers Trust

New Directions
in the Field of
Conflict Resolution

A Workshop Series ©

developed by

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with the
University of Victoria

Institute for Dispute Resolution
and the
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