LAW5013 - Principles of litigation and dispute resolution - 2018

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.



Chief examiner(s)

Ms Nicole Mollard Personal ProfilePersonal Profile ( (Trimesters 1 and 2)
Prof Paula Gerber (Trimester 3)

Quota applies

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

Unit guides


City (Melbourne)

  • Trimester 1 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 2 2018 (On-campus)
  • Trimester 3 2018 (On-campus)


LAW5000 or LAW5080 or LAW5081; LAW5002 AND LAW5005; LAW5003, LAW5016 or LAW5011; and (for students beginning in 2015 or later) LAW5004


This unit gives students a thorough understanding of the principles of civil procedure as exemplified in the rules of the courts and associated case law. Systems of case management operating in State and Federal courts are examined. Students will participate in an alternative dispute resolution process to assess its effectiveness. Drawing upon the Rules of the Supreme Court of Victoria, students study the major procedural steps that are taken in the event that common law and commercial disputes become the subject of civil litigation, including jurisdiction, instituting proceedings, service and appearance, parties, pleadings, methods of gathering evidence, interlocutory proceedings, facilitating settlement, disposition without trial, trial, judgment, costs, appeal and enforcement.


At the successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. identify, articulate and apply legal principles, concepts, policies relating to the procedural sequence, steps and documentation of civil litigation;
  2. demonstrate sophisticated cognitive and creative skills in generating appropriate jurisprudential and practical responses to complex legal problems;
  3. demonstrate the intellectual and practical skills needed to justify and interpret theoretical propositions, legal conclusions and professional decisions, as well as to identify, research, evaluate and synthesise relevant factual, legal and policy issues;
  4. exercise professional judgement in recognising and responding to ethical issues and professional responsibilities that arise in the practice of litigation and dispute resolution and show an advanced and integrated understanding of approaches to professional decision making;
  5. critically evaluate different modes of dispute resolution processes and assess the conditions under which they are likely to be appropriate and effective;
  6. demonstrate the ability to think creatively and communicate effectively in professional documentary formats that are appropriate for dispute resolution practice;
  7. collaborate effectively;
  8. learn and work with a high degree of autonomy, accountability and professionalism; and
  9. reflect on and assess their own capabilities and performance, and make use of feedback, to support personal and professional development.


  1. ADR Exercise (40%) comprising:
    • reflective journal (10%); and
    • written exercise (30%).
  2. Examination (2 hours plus 30 minutes reading time) comprising:
    • a policy essay question (20%); and
    • problem-based question (40%).

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 36 contact hours of seminars per semester whether intensive, semi-intensive, or semester-long offering. Students will be expected to do reading set for class, and to undertake additional research and reading applicable to a 6 credit point unit.