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Foundation of Facilitation - LAWS8077
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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, 5740, 9230, 9235, 5235, 9231 or 5231
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


In a multi-dimensional society there is a need for groups to work together to deliver projects. These groups either need to build consensus for their decisions or vote by a majority. Examples include leadership committees, investigations and Boards. They are often led by a chair or a facilitator. The role and expectation of the facilitator varies between groups and projects and the skills required vary accordingly. This course provides an exploration of the different contexts within which facilitation is used and an examination of the theoretical constructs. It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to have a greater insight into where ADR skills can be applied in the broader community.

This course is taught as a 4 day intensive on 4-5 and 18-19 May 2011 from 9.00 to 5.00pm at the UNSW CBD Campus.

LLM Specialisations

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

The aims of the course are to ensure that familiarity with;
• Group decision making;
• How group dynamics work;
• The overlay of group decision making in a workplace setting and how this interfaces with the legal framework;
• The way Boards operate; and
• The way stakeholders can be identified and the strategies to empower them to make good group decisions.

Main Topics

This course examines the role of facilitation in a variety of contexts, the interplay with the Law and the skills and tools that are required for anyone wanting to practice facilitation. It is a theoretical course with exercises to provide an opportunity for practical application. This course includes an exploration of the following topics:
• An overview of facilitation, what are the cultural underpinnings and groups- how do they work and what is important to understand when working with a group or being part of a group.
• Boards, committees, the role of the chair, and the decision making process;
• Psychological ‘Type” and groups; how do groups work, how are individuals types (such as MBTI) exhibited in a group environment and the implications for change management, and adult learning principals;
• The application of facilitation in managing disputes in an Aboriginal context. An exploration of land based disputes and cultural paradigms;
• Conflict and groups- from bullying in schools to sentencing circles the application of transformative justice and appropriate dispute resolution;
• Familiarity with the areas in our society where groups need to operate together to make decisions and changes; A greater understanding of the challenges of regulation in these environments;
• An appreciation of the range of tools, techniques and competencies that are needed for a group to operate effectively; and
• An appreciation of where the need to use facilitation to fine tune and ensure the law is operating effectively in areas where groups are working for an outcome.


Class participation (30%)
Outline of Essay (10%)
Essay (60%)

Course Texts

Recommended Reading

Christine Hogan, Understanding Facilitation: Theory and Principles (2002, Kogan Page Publishers)

Sandy Schumann (ed) The IAF Handbook of Group Facilitation. Best Practices from the Leading Organizations in Facilitation (2005, Jossey Bass)

Additional Information

The next course to build directly on these skills is LAWS8981 Mastering Facilitation, a workshop for those who want practical hands on experience with facilitation which is available in Semester 2.

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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.