Alternative Dispute Resolution

Course code LAWS5032
Available in 2016
2016 Course Timetables


The course examines Dispute Resolution as an additional process to the conventional litigated dispute. This course provides students with an introduction to conflict theory, the opportunity to recognise and critically evaluate additional forms of dispute resolution so as to be equipped to identify what type of dispute resolution is an appropriate medium to resolve a conflict. The essential features of negotiations, mediation, arbitration and other primary dispute resolution options will be considered. Students will have the opportunity to acquire and use dispute resolution skills. Students will consider the legal implications of choosing a particular dispute resolution process.



  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Identify sources of dispute or conflict.

2. Recognise and understand the language of dispute resolution.

3. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the processes of non-litigious Dispute Resolution.

4. Identify all the options by which disputes or conflict can be resolved or managed for a particular legal problem and be able to select the best dispute resolution process for a particular dispute

5. Demonstrate the introductory acquisition of the skills necessary for a lawyer to prepare for and participate in negotiation including identifying the needs and interests of a client and the other parties, identifying appropriate opening offers, trade offs and concessions, being aware of typical negotiation tactics and how to overcome them

6. Demonstrate the introductory acquisition of the skills necessary for a lawyer to prepare for and participate in mediation including identifying if a case is suitable for mediation, matching the dispute to the appropriate mediation model and selection of an appropriate mediator, guiding a client through the mediation process, selecting the right place and time for the mediation, effective communication with the client and other parties, ability to judge whether the process is productive and if not when and how withdrawal should take place

7. Demonstrate the introductory acquisition of the skills of a facilitative mediator including appropriate ethical practice ,the necessary communication skills for facilitative mediation and ability to follow the recognised process of opening the mediation, taking opening statements, agenda setting, exploration of issues with the parties, private sessions and further joint sessions with the parties

8. Think critically about the theory of non litigious dispute resolution by being able to identify and examine the theories; analyse and question their assumptions and by reflecting upon the contribution lawyers can make to the development of these theories.

9. Reflect upon and analyse your learning about dispute resolution skills and techniques.


Week 1: Introduction -history of ADR, conflict theory, structure of the courseWeek 2: The Client centered approach to legal problems, emotional competenciesWeek 3 & 4: Negotiation theory - this theory underpins many dispute resolution processesWeeks 5 & 6: Mediation theory and practiceWeek 7: Family Law and ADRWeek 8: Non adversarial approaches to Criminal LawWeek 9: Advisory or Evaluative processesWeek 10: Choosing the right dispute resolution process for the disputeWeek 11 & 12: Mediation skillsĀ 


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws and associated combined degree programs or Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and associated combined degree programs.

Assumed Knowledge

The assumed knowledge for this course are the core subjects. TORTS, CONTRACTS, LEGAL SYSTEM AND METHOD. Also Civil Procedure LAWS4003.

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Assignment 1

Written Assignment: Briefing notes for class

In Term Test: Examination: Class

Written Assignment: Assignment 2

Contact Hours



Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term