LAW4649 - Mediation and law: From problem solving to narrative building - 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.



Not offered in 2017


The unit explores four models which exist within the field of mediation, and examines their connection with various jurisprudential approaches. Mediation is an alternative method to litigation, in which a third party facilitates negotiation between at least two other parties. Mediation is the paradigmatic alternative to adjudication and its basic principles are unique and different from those of the adversarial model. The course examines the notion of mediation by referring to four conceptual frameworks to understand it: Traditional communal; Pragmatic problem solving; Humanistic Transformative and Narrative Cultural. Each model of mediation will be studied both in practice and theory, and its relation to jurisprudential streams of thought will be examined. Theories such as legal feminism, legal pluralism, multiculturalism and postmodernism will be studied as possible foundations for the various models, and their application will be examined critically through the use of case studies, films and simulations. The overall sequence of the course will show the transformation of mediation from a pragmatic efficient alternative to litigation to a public narrative based method for the resolution of public dispute.


At the successful completion of this Unit, students will be able to:

  • critically analyse the theoretical frameworks which underlie the process of mediation and the differences between distinct models of mediation
  • demonstrate cognitive and creative skills in understanding the relationship between jurisprudential models and ADR, and intercultural aspects of mediation
  • communicate effectively and persuasively in applying mediation in various contexts, including across cultures and jurisdictions
  • provide and make use of feedback to assess their own capabilities and performance and to support personal and professional development.


Class participation: 10 %

Response paper: 10%

Take home examination: 80%.

Workload requirements

Students are required to attend 36 hours of lectures over the duration of this semi-intensive unit.

The unit timetable link below is not applicable to this unit.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)