Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Despite only a very small percentage of cases ever proceeding to trial, legal education has traditionally emphasised litigation as the primary dispute resolution process. However, there are a number of ways that people can resolve their legal disputes, often without recourse to lawyers and courts. Furthermore, a large amount of a lawyer's work can involve negotiating with others, yet often lawyers have very little formal negotiation education or training. This unit explores several methods of dispute resolution and the place that each process has in the legal dispute resolution landscape. The unit places emphasis on teaching students legal negotiation skills and introduces students to the ethical role of the lawyer in the legal profession and wider society through the study of legal professional ethics. It explores the framework of laws and professional rules governing legal professional ethics in Western Australia and gives students practical ethical training through workshop style exercises.

Students are able to (1) understand the various forms of dispute resolution processes, including litigation, arbitration and mediation, and how they work in practice; (2) understand the theory underpinning the practice of interest-based negotiations; (3) conduct an interest-based negotiation ethically and professionally; (4) understand the ethical frameworks underpinning law and legal practice; and (5) critically analyse ethical issues arising in law and dispute resolution practice.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Face to face

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the theory, process and practice of interest based negotiation to an advanced level; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the ethical practice associated with dispute resolution and the broader legal and social contexts in which legal disputes arise; (3) demonstrate an appreciation of the lawyer's role in appropriate and ethical dispute resolution; (4) recognise and critique the practical and ethical considerations arising in legal professional practice; (5) exercise professional judgement in relation to ethical dispute resolution and what might best serve the client, the courts and the community; (6) identify and resolve legal ethical issues arising in legal practice and dispute resolution; (7) interview clients in an ethical and interests-based manner; and (8) plan, prepare and engage in negotiation exercises and reflect upon own performance and experience.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) preparation, participation and reflection; (2) assignment; and (3) test. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Jill Howieson and Darren Moroney
Unit rules
LAWS4101 Foundations of Law and Lawyering
LAWS4105 Dispute Resolution
Contact hours
Students must attend every day of the intensive period 12-23 February 2024. Refer to the timetable for exact class times.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.