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Apology, Forgiveness & Reconciliation Susan Daicoff, Professor of Law Phoenix School of Law 2013 (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "Apology, Forgiveness & Reconciliation Susan Daicoff, Professor of Law Phoenix School of Law 2013 (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 Apology, Forgiveness & Reconciliation Susan Daicoff, Professor of Law Phoenix School of Law 2013 (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

2 apology (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

3 Apology Elements Understand & acknowledge impact of my actions on you Say I’m sorry; express remorse & regret for my actions Sincere, non-self-focused attitude w/ visible shame Without anger or blaming Accept responsibility for what happened Express that my actions were “wrong” Express willingness to change in future & plan for changing and not repeating Express willingness to make restitution (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

4 forgiveness (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

5 Definitions of Forgiveness Cohen - “cessation of resentment against the offender” Fincham - “a defining feature is the foreswearing of resentment” Li-ann - Ex. where victims issued a joint public statement accepting the offender’s apology & promising to work together in the future to “promote mutual understanding” (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

6 Forgiveness Elements Precursors: Express impact of your actions on me Believe you are sorry Have you accept all blame for what happened Ask why you did it & get answers from you Have faith that something good will come of this Hear plan to receive material restitution from you Hear plan for how this won’t happen again Accept your apology Express forgiveness & mercy to you Stop being angry with you Not lecture you from a moral “hilltop” See you as a fellow human being Do more than just listen or hear (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

7 “encounter” exchange core sequence process (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

8 Shifts Wronged-- shifts from anger to acceptance to openness. Understands why act was done and has empathy for wrongdoer Wrongdoer -- shifts from defensiveness and shame to openness, humility, and acceptance of responsibility. Has empathy for impact of act on wronged Mutual underlying, explicit or implicit, recognition: “We are both human, no one is perfect, we are both co-members of the human race, we are both human beings worthy of value and there is some commonality between us.” (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

9 reconciliation (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

10 Link to the Comprehensive Law Movement: Law as a Healing Profession Apology-forgiveness- reconciliation sequence is a route to healing In legal disputes & matters The movement offers structures for the A-F-R sequence to occur (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

11 A vibrant movement in the law towards law as a healing, positive force Therapeutic jurisprudence Restorative justice Holistic justice Problem solving courts Procedural justice Creative problem solving Collaborative law Transformative mediation Preventive law Mindfulness (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

12 Law as a Healing Profession Therapeutic Jurisprudence Creative Problem Solving Holistic Justice Lenses: Processes : Collaborative Law Restorative Justice Preventive Law Litigation & other judicial processes Facilitative Mediation Transformative Mediation Evaluative Mediation Arbitration Procedural Justice Problem Solving Courts Religious/Spiritual Traditional/ Adversarial (win/lose – binary) Negotiation/Settlement Preventive Law mindfulness (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

13 Forgiveness is important at least in: Transformative mediation Restorative justice Therapeutic jurisprudence sanative “recognition” Restoration of offender to society (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

14 Therapeutic Jurisprudence Law, like it or not, has therapeutic & antitherapeutic consequences on parties, groups, and systems Legal personnel can intentionally seek to enhance the therapeutic results and minimize antitherapeutic results of legal rules, processes, and actors, without trumping legal rights “well being;” mental health (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

15 Transformative Mediation  Explicit transformative goal: to engender “moral growth” through increasing parties’:  “Empowerment” &  “Recognition”  Focus on improving parties (not situation) (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

16 Collaborative Law Nonlitigative Independent legal counsel Interdisciplinary teams “Four” way conferences Contractual commitment to w/draw if go to court Binding commitments Neutral experts Interest-based bargaining (vs. position-based) (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

17 RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CRIMINAL LAW TRANSFORMED: Victim, Wrongdoer, & Community Encounter Conferencing Apology-forgiveness-reconciliation core sequence (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

18 What is reconciliation? (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

19 Reconciliation literature No universally agreed-on definition Agreement between adversaries Restoring right relations among enemies Fundamental shift in relations Desired goal on its own Possible (but not always) result of apology- forgiveness sequence Peace Closure (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

20 A wrong: a rip in the fabric (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

21 features of reconciliation Interpersonal? Rebuilding of trust? Long process? Voluntary? (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

22 Reconciliation Definitions & Ideas After apology & forgiveness, reconciliation may or may not occur. Reconciliation is present when the apologizer and the person(s) harmed move away from an adversarial stance of anger, blame, shame, and resentment towards a mutual appreciation of each other and perhaps a sort of peace, or harmony, between them. In one Singaporean example, Li-ann references reconciliation as a possible outcome of the apology-forgiveness exchange in claiming that the “reconciliatory posture” adopted by the Buddhist and Taoist leaders may promote “empathy and reconciliation” and is “essential to long-term or durable peace.” (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

23 Law as a Healing Profession Vertical & Horizontal Justice (Yazzie) Vertical & Horizontal Harmony (Link) Vertical & Horizontal Reconciliation (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

24 Notre Dame Law School Dean Emeritus David T. Link described “vertical harmony” & “horizontal harmony” as possible outcomes of dispute resolution processes. Horizontal harmony refers to harmony between disputing parties, between people in a community, or between a criminal offender and the relevant community; Vertical harmony refers to the offender or apologizer being reconciled with and to his or her Creator or God. Vert & Horiz Harmony (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

25 Vertical & Horizontal Reconciliation (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

26 The State of the Legal Profession (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.


28 Solutions & Responses 06 (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

29 the future of the legal profession will likely include … (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

30 the comprehensive law movement (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

31 [Shameless book plug] (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

32 Traditional Justice Competitive Aggressive Ambitious Emphasis on winning (dominance) Rights-oriented Logical, analytical Materialistic, law-as-a-business Expert, zealous advocate for one client (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

33 Comprehensive Justice Collaborative Interdisciplinary Win/win Interest-oriented Focused on emotions, values, needs, & relationships Holistic, right-brained Sustainable outcomes Conflict resolver & problem solver Adversarial conflict is often destructive Equal partner with client (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

34 A vibrant movement in the law towards law as a healing, positive force Therapeutic jurisprudence Restorative justice Holistic justice Problem solving courts Procedural justice “TJ/PL” Creative problem solving Collaborative law Transformative mediation Preventive law Mindfulness (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

35 Important Websites ts/upr-intj/ ts/upr-intj/ http://www.transformativemedia http://www.transformativemedia http://www.restorativejustice.or g/ http://www.restorativejustice.or g/ jp/ jp/ J. Kim Wright’s site ProblemSolving Courts Therapeutic Jurisprudence Collaborative Law Transformative Mediation Restorative Justice (2) (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

36 common ground of these approaches or “vectors” optimize human wellbeing ”rights plus” (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

37 What does this new way of resolving legal matters look like? (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

38 lawyers with excellent empathy and insight (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

39 a collaborative, egalitarian lawyer-client relationship (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

40 multidisciplinary, collaborative problem solving (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

41 innovative conflict resolution models (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

42 no more “one-size- fits-all” (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

43 differentiated legal services Lawyers who solve problems (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

44 Excellent interpersonal awareness (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

45 active listening & empathy (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

46 procedural justice voice participa tion respect satisfaction fairness compliance (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.




50 apology forgiveness reconciliation (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

51 Concept Victim’s NeedOffender’s Apology consequences To express the impact the O’s actions had on the V’s life, including expressing the painful emotions caused in V by the event To understand and acknowledge the impact the O’s actions had on the V’s life apology/remorse To believe, have faith that the O really is sorry for what he or she did, is remorseful, regrets what happened not solely for selfish reasons To apologize, say I’m sorry, express remorse, regret that the event happened to the V, in a sincere, non- selfish, non-self-focused manner, with O being visibly ashamed of what he or she did and not being angry, which allows V to see O as human – forges bond between V & O responsibility To have all blame shifted entirely off the V and entirely onto the O for the event To accept responsibility for what happened, to express awareness that the event was “wrong” and that O did wrong forgiveness To forgive the O, stop being angry with O, stop lecturing O from hilltop, see the O as a fellow human being – forges bond between V & O NOTE: relentless anger at O may be moral indignation, which may be unacknowledged (projected) shame To receive V’s forgiveness understanding To ask why, to understand more about why this happened to me May also include understanding the O as a fellow human being Explains why the offense was done May also include understanding the V as a fellow human being positive outcome/ rehabilitation To have faith that something good can come out of this event, that the O will improve as a result To admit that O has a problem and express O’s willingness to change restitution to v To receive material restitution from the O to “make whole” the loss that arose from the event To express willingness to make material restitution to V, outline a plan for it plan for the future To know that this will not happen againTo describe his or her plan for changing and not recidivating (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

52 How does the “lawyer personality” fit in? (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

53 THE “LAWYER PERSONALITY” competitiveness materialism; value economic bottom-line need for achievement; ambitious under stress interpersonal insensitivity “Thinking” MBTI preference over “Feeling” “rights” orientation over ethic of care dominance aggressive under stress drive to achieve interpersonal relating style pessimism? [Shameless book plug II] (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

54 Thank you for viewing; read more at or reach me at Feel free to reuse with attribution and citation; citations to proper authority available upon (c) Susan Daicoff, 2013.

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