LAW5621 - Mediation and law: From problem solving to narrative building - 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


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.


On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding of the relationship between jurisprudential models and ADR, and intercultural aspects of mediation;
  • investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information concerning the theoretical frameworks which underlie the process of mediation and the differences between distinct models of mediation;
  • conduct research into theoretical and practical models of mediation and ADR; and
  • provide and make use of feedback to assess their own capabilities and performance and to support personal and professional development.


  1. Class participation: 10%
  2. Response paper (750 words): 10%
  3. Research paper (6000 words): 80%

Workload requirements

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

Chief examiner(s)