LAW4225 - Non-adversarial justice - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (Day)


This unit focuses on forms of problem-solving, dispute prevention and dispute resolution outside the adversarial system. It examines ways of lawyering that employ non-adversarial, psychologically beneficial and humanistic methods of solving legal problems, resolving legal disputes and preventing legal difficulties. Students will learn about a range of non-adversarial processes in both the civil and criminal justice systems and the theories behind them. A focus of student learning will be upon understanding when the use of such processes may be appropriate or inappropriate. The aim of teaching students this is to help them to understand the role that lawyers can play in preventing conflict and in providing non-adversarial means of conflict management or resolution. Students will be asked to reflect upon the role that lawyers can and do play in non-adversarial processes and upon the ethics of legal practice in such circumstances.


Upon completion of this unit, students should:

  1. Be able to critically analyse the nature of the adversarial system, including its benefits and pitfalls
  2. Be able to describe the nature of non-adversarial justice, the theories behind the movement and the reasons for the perceived need for non-adversarial processes
  3. Articulate and apply theories of interpersonal conflict, how disputes arise, conflict management and dispute prevention
  4. Be able to explain and evaluate the theoretical underpinnings and the nature of a range of non-adversarial processes in civil, criminal and family law processes.
  5. Learn and work autonomously, using feedback to improve their performance
  6. Communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing on issues relating to non-adversarial processes
  7. Evaluate how lawyers can work effectively with non-adversarial processes
  8. Comprehend and evaluate appropriate ethical standards of conduct of lawyers and other professionals working with non-adversarial processes
  9. Demonstrate skills in observation and critical analysis of legal processes including making recommendations for changes or law reform


Research essay or Placement Assignment (2500 words)- 50%

Take home exam (2500 words) - 50%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later:

LAW1111; LAW1114; LAW1112; LAW1113; LAW2101; LAW2102; LAW2112; LAW2111

For students who commenced their LLB course prior to 2015: LAW1100 OR LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104


For students who commenced their LLB (Hons) course in 2015 or later: LAW3111; LAW3112