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LAWS77-773: Dispute Resolution: Theories and Principles


Dispute Resolution: Theories and Principles is an elective subject in postgraduate programs offered by the Faculty of Law. This subject provides an overview and analysis of contemporary forms of dispute resolution (DR), including what has in the past been referred to as alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Students will develop knowledge about conflict and disputes, and about the value propositions behind different conflict interventions. The subject introduces theories and principles of negotiation, mediation, conciliation, arbitration and litigation, and to hybrid systems embracing more than one of these processes. It examines current and emerging dispute resolution trends, both local and global, in family, commercial, workplace and international trade and investment. All practices and trends are analysed in terms of the Rule of Law and justice values. Some simulations will be used as teaching tools, but this is not a skills-based subject and is not designed to teach and develop dispute resolution techniques.

Subject details

FacultyFaculty of Law
Semesters offered
  • January 2022 [Non-Standard Offering]
  • January 2023 [Non-Standard Offering]
Study areas
  • Law
Subject fees
  • Current: $5,070
  • Commencing in May 2021: $5,250

Learning outcomes

1. a) describe the nature of conflict and the different ways one may respond to conflict from a variety of perspectives; b) describe the current attitudes of governments, courts and tribunals to ADR; c) identify and explain the fundamentals of dispute resolution theory; d) compare/contrast the nature, advantages and disadvantages of various dispute resolution processes from a variety of cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives; e) select an appropriate type of process according to the circumstances of a particular case; f) critically consider theoretical and ethical underpinnings of ADR in the context of judicial fairness, procedural fairness and the rule of law; g) evaluate the current role of ADR and speculate on its role in the future, including online dispute resolution, privatisation of ‘justice’.
2. a) collect, analyse and organise information and ideas for clear and coherent articulation, in both written and spoken forms; b) present an argument in an online presentation; and c) provide high-quality written critique or evaluation of ADR theories and/or practice, based on sound research methods and approaches.
3. a) describe the rules and standards of professional responsibility in the practice of ADR; b) evaluate professional responsibility frameworks in the context of counselling, confidentiality, and conflict of interest and laws; and c) reflect on their own personality and communication styles.

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Assumed knowledge:

Assumed knowledge is the minimum level of knowledge of a subject area that students are assumed to have acquired through previous study. It is the responsibility of students to ensure they meet the assumed knowledge expectations of the subject. Students who do not possess this prior knowledge are strongly recommended against enrolling and do so at their own risk. No concessions will be made for students’ lack of prior knowledge.

Juris Doctor students are expected to have completed a minimum of 80 credit points of compulsory law subjects.

Restrictions: ?

Students must be into a Masters law degree OR LA-43040 Doctor of Legal Science (Research) OR be an approved Law Study Abroad or Law Exchange student.

Anti-requisites: ?

Subject outlines

Subject dates

Future offerings not yet planned.