Claiming apologies. A revival of amende honorable?

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In the Netherlands, a recent suggestion was made for the introduction of a civil remedy for apologies. Could this be seen as a plea for the revival of the action for amende honorable from early modern times? The latter remedy, aimed at retraction and apologies for insults and reputational injuries, had its roots in medieval Canon law and indigenous law. During the process of reception, it was shaped by moral-theological concepts and provided with Roman law elements. It was meant to undo the injury, not to punish the wrongdoer. The Dutch Civil Code of 1838 retained only a reminiscence of the old amende honorable, which was soon to disappear from legal practice. The current proposed claim would to some degree resemble the old remedy for amende honorable. Unlike the latter, however, it will be aimed at emotional recovery for some specific kinds of injury and not for defamation in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-242
Number of pages50
JournalComparative Legal History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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