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


This unit investigates what methods of dispute resolution are available other than litigation. It surveys the various dispute resolution processes including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and mixed processes. The overall objectives are to give students some familiarity with the processes, rudimentary skills in using them and some experience in choosing the most appropriate process to use to resolve a particular dispute. The unit includes exercises which examine students' adversarial and competitive attitudes and challenge students to change or modify their behaviour and attitudes. In summary, the unit seeks to moderate the influence of the traditional law school experience by exposing students to the increasing body of knowledge and insight which now exists on how conflict may be dealt with in our society without resorting to litigation.

6 points

Students are able to (1) explain conflict management as an opportunity for empowerment, recognition and reconciliation; (2) advise clients on how to recognise disputes that are suitable for alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and how to participate in ADR processes; (3) demonstrate an understanding of negotiation skills and aptitudes; (4) describe and distinguish among a variety of styles of ADR; (5) analyse a dispute to determine its nature and cause, and the efficacy of ADR in resolving it; (6) describe and explain a basic model of mediation, including the roles of mediators and participants; (7) make an assessment of the knowledge, skills and aptitudes that are needed in ADR processes; and (8) critically evaluate the use of ADR in particular areas of law.


Students demonstrate achievement of the outcomes in a variety of assessment methods including a presentation; an essay; the preparation for, participation in, and journaling of experiential exercises conducted throughout the semester; and an in-class test. Details of assessment are advised 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
Contact hours
seminars: 3 hours per week

LexisNexis Dispute Resolution: a Customised Publication for The University of Western Australia: LexisNexis Butterworths 2013

  • 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.