LAW4664 - Comparative dispute resolution - 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


This course will explore processes in which third-parties from various countries and cultures help people resolve disputes. Through readings, discussion, simulation exercises and outside research, students will critically examine the roles of: (1) lawyers and other advocates negotiating on behalf of principals; (2) mediators and neutral third parties facilitating the negotiation process; (3) arbitrators, judges and clerics tasked with adjudicating disputes; and (4) tribal councils and international tribunals involved in managing conflict. Classes will be designed to give students the theoretical framework to understand and evaluate dispute resolution processes in various contexts, as well as the skills to participate in the processes effectively.


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

  • Critically analyse the various ways in which different societies and cultures respond to interpersonal disputes;
  • Demonstrate cognitive and creative skills in applying comparative methodology to distinguish between models of dispute resolution used by diverse social groups;
  • Articulate how generalisations about culture might impact the propriety and effectiveness of a given model of dispute resolution;
  • Critically analyse the use of adjudicatory and consensual processes in judicial systems around the world;
  • Communicate effectively and persuasively in identifying key features of an effective dispute resolution process given the type of dispute and the cultural context.


  1. Participation in class discussions and exercises 20%
  2. Research paper (1500 words) & in-class presentation 30%
  3. Take-home final examination 50%

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)


For students in the LLB course:

LAW1100 or LAW1101 and LAW1102 or LAW1104

For students in the LLB Hons course:

LAW1111, LAW1112, LAW1113, LAW1114, LAW2101, LAW2102, LAW2111 and LAW2112


For students in the LLB Hons course:

LAW3111 and LAW3112