LAW5387 - Non-adversarial family and children's law - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Quota applies

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

Not offered in 2017


"For postgraduate Law discontinuation dates, please see

For postgraduate Law unit timetables, please see

Previously coded as LAW7432


This unit will offer experienced family and child protection lawyers, family dispute resolution practitioners, child protection workers, policy makers and those interested in dispute resolution a grasp of the principles of the innovative field of non-adversarial justice and a comprehensive framework for analysing the appropriateness and integrity of existing non-adversarial practices in family and child protection law. It will assist students to position themselves at the forefront of law reform through sharpening their policy analysis skills and providing them with a structure for predicting the future development of practices in the family law and child protection fields.

This unit will examine and critically assess the range of non-adversarial practices which are central to Australian and international family law systems. It focuses primarily on the federal Australian family law system and state-based child protection systems. The unit approaches the study of family and child protection law by focusing on forms of conflict management, dispute prevention and dispute resolution employed in those fields. In particular the subject will explore the more recent developments in family dispute resolution processes in Australia and overseas. These practices will be examined from the perspective of 'non-adversarial justice', a cutting edge framework developed to explore the common themes and links between disparate practices developed in reaction to the adversarial system in a variety of settings within the justice system.


Upon completion of this unit, students will be able to :

  • Apply knowledge and understanding of recent developments in relation to non-adversarial justice and the family law and child protection systems with creativity and initiative to new situations in professional practice and/or for further learning
  • Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to non-adversarial processes in family and child protection law
  • Conduct research in non-adversarial family and children's law based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods
  • Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level complex ideas and concepts relevant to non-adversarial family and children's law including making recommendations for change or law reform.


Class Participation: 10%

Research Paper (6,750 words): 90%

Workload requirements

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