LAW5605 - Comparative dispute resolution - 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

The unit can be taken by a maximum of 45 students (due to limited facilities and method of teaching).

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:

  • apply knowledge and understanding of the various ways in which different societies and cultures respond to interpersonal disputes;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise in applying comparative methodology to distinguish between models of dispute resolution used by diverse social groups;
  • conduct research into how generalisations about culture might impact the propriety and effectiveness of a given model of dispute resolution;
  • use cognitive, technical and creative skills to critically analyse the use of adjudicatory and consensual processes in judicial systems around the world; and
  • 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 discussion and exercises: 20%
  2. Research paper (2250 words) and in-class presentation: 30%
  3. Research essay (3750 words): 50%

Workload requirements

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

Chief examiner(s)