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LAWS77-529: Advanced Dispute Resolution


Advanced Dispute Resolution is an elective subject in postgraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law. This subject examines Dispute Resolution (DR) theory and practice, providing an overview of contemporary DR systems (including litigation, negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and blended processes) and critically assesses the strengths and shortcomings of each. Particular attention is given to the appropriateness of different methods for different categories of dispute, and to the role of DR processes other than litigation in the legal system and DR as an important skill set for lawyers in the 21st century. Legal and professional issues arising out of DR developments are analysed. Parts of this subject will be taught through simulations and role play.

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Law
Study areas
  • Law

Learning outcomes

1. ~ Demonstrate a knowledge of possible causes of conflict and disputes, and be able to list the ways in which individuals may respond to conflict; ~ Define key Dispute Resolution (DR) processes (including negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, litigation and blended processes); ~ Identify and compare the objectives and characteristics of these processes; and outline a number of potential advantages and disadvantages of each process from a variety of perspectives; ~ Describe the stages involved in a facilitative mediation process, and be able to compare this model of mediation with other models; ~ Describe the roles and functions of mediators and identify activities that are within and outside a mediator's mandate; ~ Describe the roles and functions of lawyers in Dispute Resolution processes and identify activities that are within and outside these roles; ~ Demonstrate a knowledge of key legal issues in relation to Dispute Resolution including the general nature of a dispute resolution clause, different types of dispute resolution clauses, prerequisites for enforceability of dispute resolution clauses and the requirements (or lack thereof) for good faith, honesty and openness in negotiation and mediation, and the nature and content of agreements to mediate; ~ Describe the current attitude of governments, courts and tribunals to Dispute Resolution. 2. Demonstrate an understanding of: ~ the positive and negative consequences of conflict; ~ the conflicting values and goals of the DR movement; ~ the connection between society, culture and dispute resolution; ~ a variety of approaches to DR and their benefits and limitations; ~ issues for vulnerable clients in DR processes; ~ the characteristics of an effective negotiator and mediator, and the features of a successful negotiated or mediated agreement; ~ the way in which existing dispute resolution processes may be combined to create new dispute resolution processes; and the role of lawyers in DR processes other than litigation. 3. ~ Distinguish between positional and interest-based approaches to negotiation; ~ Identify and describe a wide range of skills used by negotiators, mediators and lawyers representing clients in DR processes (and take some beginning steps towards acquisition of these skills); and ~ Advise clients about DR processes and preparing them for participation in a range of processes. 4. ~ Display awareness of: the key ethical and professional responsibilities of lawyers who represent parties in negotiation; ~ Identify the values which underlie mediation; and ~ Identify some of the ethical dilemmas faced by negotiators, mediators, and legal representatives in Dispute Resolution processes.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?

Pre-requisites: ?

Co-requisites: ?

There are no co-requisites.

Restrictions: ?

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Future offerings not yet planned.