Background

Apology research and scholarship is multidisciplinary. It draws upon disciplines that include psychology, law, anthropology, criminology, communication, ethics, sociology and philosophy. It has significance for practice areas as diverse as counselling, therapy, behaviour management, complaint management and dispute resolution and for justice and reconciliation processes.

The apology and law area is emerging as a specific focus within this broader multidisciplinary field with academics throughout the world working on a range of research questions. Currently the research in the apology and law field is, however, undertaken by researchers who work in isolation, even in their own countries; focus on unrelated research questions, who publish and present papers in a range of journals and conferences which do not have a specific apology and law focus. Consequently the research outcome is uncoordinated and fragmented with limited impact and influence. What is required is a mechanism to improve the national and international collaboration between researchers working in the field and a setting where they can communicate their research ideas and outcomes. Given the limited number of researchers working in the field it is unlikely that it will be possible to publish a journal or organise regular conferences that focus on apology and law research. A web-based research network is the ideal method to achieve its aims as it is immediate and only require a small number of active and dedicated researchers.