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Advanced Issues in Dispute Resolution - LAWS8063
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty 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: Academic Program must be either 9200, 9210, 9230, 9235, 5740, or 5235
Excluded: JURD7363
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 1 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course aims to foster critical examination of a small range of important topics in dispute resolution, emphasising not just mediation, but also other dispute resolution mechanisms such as case appraisal, arbitration, conciliation and negotiation. The course will encourage students to engage with key academic works and policy documents, and to reconcile these with the practical realities of dispute resolution. We will examine a range of current and emerging themes in dispute resolution, which may include: the role of dispute resolution in promoting access to justice; dispute resolution and the role of precedent; cross-cultural perspectives; power and neutrality in theory and practice; and professionalism in dispute resolution. These issues will be examined from both Australian and international perspectives.

LLM Specialisation

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

A candidate who has successfully completed this course will:
  • Be able to engage with a variety of perspectives of dispute resolution, both endorsing and critiquing dispute resolution;
  • Be able to examine and debate the current trends in academic and policy literature, and reconcile these debates with the practice of mediation, arbitration, and other forms of dispute resolution;
  • Develop the capacity to think critically about independent and court-annexed dispute resolution, the scope of its practice, and regulation of its practitioners;
  • Acquire a theoretical basis for dispute resolution practice through an examination of academic and policy literature; and
  • Appreciate the diversity of dispute resolution practice in Australia and internationally.

Main Topics

The topics may vary from year to year depending on other course offerings and current literature, but are expected to include:
  • The legal and policy framework of dispute resolution in Australia;
  • Dispute resolution and the notion of access to justice;
  • Dispute resolution, the doctrine of precedent, and ‘the shadow of the law’;
  • The diversity of theoretical perspectives on dispute resolution;
  • Power and neutrality in facilitative dispute resolution processes;
  • The evaluation of ‘success’, particularly in mediation; and
  • The development of ethical and professional regulation of dispute resolution.


Class attendance and participation: 20%
Class presentation: 20%
Essay: 60%

Course Texts


At this time, there is no single text which covers the proposed course content. Instead, the course will use a reader of around 25-30 journal articles & other documents. These are designed to encourage students to explore a variety of sources and will include, for example:
  • D. Luban, Settlements and the Erosion of the Public Realm, (1995) 83 Georgetown Law Journal 2619.
  • O. Fiss, Against Settlement, (1984) 93 Yale Law Journal 1073.
  • J. W. Stempel, Reflections on Judicial ADR and the Multi-Door Courthouse at Twenty: Fait
  • Accompli, Failed Overture, or Fledgling Adulthood? (1996) 10 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution 297.
  • R. Bush & J. Folger, 'The Mediation Movement: Four Divergent Views' in Bush, R A B and Folger, J P (eds), The Promise of Mediation (Jossey Bass, San Francisco, 1994) 15
  • C. Menkel-Meadow, What Will We Do When Adjudication Ends-A Brief Intellectual History of ADR (1997) 44(6) UCLA Law Review 1613.
  • R. Pound 'The Causes of Popular Dissatisfaction with the Administration of Justice' (Paper presented at the Pound Conference, St Paul, Minnesota, 29/08/1906).
  • C. Savage, Culture and Mediation: A Red Herring. (1996-1997) 5 American University Journal of Gender and Law 269.
  • P. Condliffe, Slaying Dragons: Evaluating Mediator Service',. (1999) Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 130.
  • M. Galanter Compared to What? Assessing the Quality of Dispute Processing, (1989) 66 Denver University Law Review XI.


Refer to the course outline which will be provided by the lecturer at the beginning of the relevant semester.

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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.