Faculty of Law

Monash University

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedCity (Melbourne) Trimester 2 2014 (On-campus block of classes)


Quota applies

Postgraduate programs are based on a model of small group teaching and therefore class sizes need to be restricted.


Collaborative law is a non-adversarial approach to resolving disputes, whereby the parties, their lawyers and other experts enter a formal agreement to focus on settlement rather than litigation. If the dispute is not resolved and proceeds to litigation, the lawyers engaged in the collaborative process must withdraw. This is set out in the agreement.

Collaborative law has been practised in the United States and Canada for about 15 years. It is now being practised in the United Kingdom and some countries in Europe. It has been used in Australia since 2006.

Collaborative practice is a unique method of dispute resolution which has the potential to deliver ongoing benefits to the general public and Australian professionals working in the law area. This unit provides an overview of collaborative dispute resolution and has been designed specifically practitioners who work in the conflict resolution area. It assumes no prior legal training or knowledge of law, but does assume some basic understanding of negotiation processes and skills. It provides an introduction to collaborative processes and students area assisted in their learning by a series of interactive simulation exercises.


Practical skills will be emphasised and students will be given ample practical exercises to encourage them to integrate the skills. Students will be encouraged to become aware of their own personal style and of the values, attitudes and culture they bring to the resolution of conflicts and of the other styles they can access as appropriate.

The objectives of this unit are to develop in students:

  1. A basic level of understanding of collaborative practice and a comparative international perspective.
  2. A desire to know more about collaborative dispute resolution.
  3. Ongoing refinement of other knowledge and skills in the conflict resolution area.

Upon completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. Find, apply and critically assess skills that can be used in collaborative dispute resolution and apply skills and processes to basic fact situations.
  2. Appreciate the importance and diversity of collaborative dispute resolution in society today.
  3. Describe and debate some of the critical issues and major trends in conflict resolution policy and theory.


One research assignment (3,750 words): 50%
One take-home problem-based(3,750 words): 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

24 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)