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Dispute Resolution in Family Law - JURD7416
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS2311; JURD7211
Excluded: LAWS8116
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course focuses on the pivotal role of child-focussed dispute resolution within the practice of family law. This course provides in-depth study of legislation and standards of conduct (ethics and practice management) expected of a family law legal practitioner, comprehensive understanding of the parenting/children and financial/property issues, expert witness selection and evidence management vital to resolving a family law dispute within the various dispute resolution processes available in Australia. During this Course you will learn through lectures, discussion and practical activities, a range of general practice and professional performance skills demanded of a family law practitioner who is engaged in dispute resolution processes. You will also participate in a critical discourse analysis of debate on current, key and emerging issues in dispute resolution within the family law jurisdiction. Topics covered include voluntary negotiation, Collaborative Law, pre-action Family Dispute Resolution and Case Assessment Conferences (which integrate Mediation and Conciliation). This Course provides the opportunity to explore the challenges involved in being a legal practitioner within a jurisdiction which has a commitment to family law disputes being resolved through dispute resolution processes rather than judicial intervention. Please note that this course is not, of itself, sufficient for accreditation as either a Collaborative Law lawyer or FDR practitioner. However it does provide a foundation from which potential Collaborative Law or FDR practitioners may begin the accreditation process.

Recommended Prior Knowledge

It is expected that students will have a working knowledge of the range of dispute resolution processes. Ideally, students will have completed, or concurrently be taking, JURD7314 Dispute Resolution or an equivalent course. If you have not enrolled in JURD7314, please contact the course convenor to discuss. While a grounding in Family Law is not necessary, it is helpful.

Course Aims

This course aims to provide students with in-depth knowledge, comprehensive understanding and a range of professional skills that include general practical and performance skills pivotal to their role as a legal practitioner in a family law practice. It also aims to equip students with the skills necessary to analyse and, through discussion, contribute to the debate on current, key and emerging issues in dispute resolution within the family law jurisdiction. Finally, through practical activities the course will give students an awareness of professional skills that are important for dispute resolution in the family law field.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has successfully completed this course should be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the family law legislation and the pivotal place of voluntary and mandatory dispute resolution processes available in Australia in the field of family law;
  • Appreciate the legal and ethical dimensions of dispute resolution within family law;
  • Analyse and discuss debate on current, key and emerging issues in dispute resolution and consider their impact on family law practice in Australia;
  • Utilise their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the various parenting/children issues and financial/property issues that arise in family law disputes and resolve them using the various dispute resolution processes;
  • Use their reflective skills in future to improve their participation and/or conduct of various dispute resolution processes.

Main Topics

  • ADR
  • Advocacy
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Case Assessment Conference
  • Conciliation
  • Conferencing
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Family Dispute Resolution
  • Family Law
  • Litigation
  • Mediation
  • PDR


Class Participation 20%
Reflective Journal 20%
Research Essay 60%

Course Texts

To be advised


A full up-to date reading list will be provided in the detailed course outline.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.