LAW5462 - Non-adversarial practice - 2019

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.



Not offered in 2019


For students enrolled in the Juris Doctor, completion of 72 credit points of core units.


This is a big-picture unit, focusing on process in the civil, criminal and family law justice systems. It examines methods of legal practice that employ non-adversarial, psychologically beneficial and humanistic methods of solving legal problems, resolving legal disputes and preventing legal difficulties. Students will learn about a range of non-adversarial processes and ideas including therapeutic jurisprudence, Alternative Dispute Resolution, restorative justice, preventive law, solution-focused or problem oriented courts.

The unit will provide opportunities for work integrated learning, enabling students to integrate theory with the practice of work in real life settings. A focus of learning will be upon skills development for legal practice, including understanding when the use of processes may be appropriate or inappropriate. The aim is to help students to understand the role that lawyers can play in preventing conflict and in providing non-adversarial means of problem management.


Upon completion of this unit, students should:

  1. Describe and evaluate the nature of non-adversarial justice, the theories behind the movement and the reasons for the perceived need for non-adversarial processes in the civil and criminal justice systems;
  2. Evaluate when adversarial and non-adversarial processes are appropriate or inappropriate in particular cases in both the civil and criminal justice systems (including in the family law system);
  3. Demonstrate skills and knowledge of how lawyers can work effectively with non-adversarial processes;
  4. Comprehend and evaluate appropriate ethical standards of conduct of lawyers and other professionals working with non-adversarial processes;
  5. Communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing on issues relating to non-adversarial processes, especially to a non-expert audience;
  6. Demonstrate skills in observation and critical analysis of legal processes including making recommendations for changes or law reform.


One work-integrated learning observation assignment (3,750 words): 50%

One take-home examination (3,000 words): 40%

Class participation: 10%

Workload requirements

Students enrolled in this unit will be provided with 24 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.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study