LAW 3525 - Alternative Dispute Resolution

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2017

The course includes a detailed examination of the theory and practice of ADR methods in the context of an adversarial legal system, to develop an understanding of the operation and implications of various ADR theories and practices and to assess their value. It evaluates the experience in Australia and other common law countries of the development and incorporation of ADR options in dispute resolution, in civil, administrative, family and criminal contexts. Additionally, the course explores the application of ADR processes in the international environment, including International Commercial Arbitration, and other forms of international dispute resolution in non commercial contexts, including those raising human rights and natural resource issues. The course aims to develop ability to critically assess the legal, social and other issues associated with ADR, and to understand the implications of the operation of those theories in an adversarial legal context. The course will include a selection from the following or similar topics: the nature of disputes, including the psychological, political, cultural, economic and social issues of dispute resolution; acceptance and operation of ADR as a credible dispute resolution alternative to litigation; theory; features and values of various forms of ADR; Justice reform, including the role of the courts and the provision of court annexed ADR, the "multi-doored" court, and the role and value of judicial decision making; domestic and international commercial arbitration; ADR and industrial disputes; power and control in dispute resolution; mediation theory; ADR and criminal law; dispute system design; legal rights and responsibilities flowing from ADR outcomes; and ethical issues for ADR practitioners. The course will include the participation of ADR practitioners. Students will engage in practical ADR exercises through role plays.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LAW 3525
    Course Alternative Dispute Resolution
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Law School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate Law (LLB)
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites LAW 1501
    Incompatible LAW 3010
    Assumed Knowledge LAW 3501
    Restrictions Available to LLB students only
    Course Description The course includes a detailed examination of the theory and practice of ADR methods in the context of an adversarial legal system, to develop an understanding of the operation and implications of various ADR theories and practices and to assess their value. It evaluates the experience in Australia and other common law countries of the development and incorporation of ADR options in dispute resolution, in civil, administrative, family and criminal contexts. Additionally, the course explores the application of ADR processes in the international environment, including International Commercial Arbitration, and other forms of international dispute resolution in non commercial contexts, including those raising human rights and natural resource issues. The course aims to develop ability to critically assess the legal, social and other issues associated with ADR, and to understand the implications of the operation of those theories in an adversarial legal context.
    The course will include a selection from the following or similar topics: the nature of disputes, including the psychological, political, cultural, economic and social issues of dispute resolution; acceptance and operation of ADR as a credible dispute resolution alternative to litigation; theory; features and values of various forms of ADR; Justice reform, including the role of the courts and the provision of court annexed ADR, the "multi-doored" court, and the role and value of judicial decision making; domestic and international commercial arbitration; ADR and industrial disputes; power and control in dispute resolution; mediation theory; ADR and criminal law; dispute system design; legal rights and responsibilities flowing from ADR outcomes; and ethical issues for ADR practitioners.
    The course will include the participation of ADR practitioners. Students will engage in practical ADR exercises through role plays.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Margaret Castles

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

    1. Appreciation of the social relevance and historical context of DR models in Western and other social contexts; Capacity to identify and analyse the complex drivers of dispute behaviour in the community; Understanding of the theoretical models of dispute resolution and capacity to analyse their operation in both legal and social contexts
    2. Development of basic mediation skills, including communication, analysis, and issue identification; Capacity to engage in simple dispute resolution systems design; Ability to adaptively apply ADR theory in varied practical contexts, including international, industrial, and socio political
    3. Sophisticated understanding of the ethical and legal ethical issues surrounding Dispute Resolution models and practice.
    4. Prepare and present an engaging informative presentation on a chosen area of ADR that expands upon the core themes of the course
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1-4
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1,2
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1,2
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1,2
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • Able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1,2
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1,2
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Prescribed Sourdin Alternative Dispute Resolution Thomson Reuters 2016

    Addional Recommended King Batagol Frieberg and Hyams Non Adversarial Justice Federation Press 2014

    Reading materials, course profile, seminar guides – available on MYUNI
    Recommended Resources
    Supplementary reading, internet and other resources as recommended in seminar guides and via MYUNI or other electronic media.
    Online Learning
    Seminar guides, other useful material, and links to websites will be provided on MYUNI. Instructions for mediation and negotiation roleplays will be provided in MYUNI. Social media interface may also be implemented. Students may be asked to post comments or short summaries of material online for their seminar group. Discussion boards for the entire cohort and individual seminar groups will be used, as will file exchange, as appropriate, to facilitate students supporting each others’ learning process. Students are required to check MYUNI regularly to keep up to date with material announcements.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    This course focuses on interactive seminars each of two hours duration during which students will engage in a series of workshops including mediation, dispute system design, dispute system evaluation, guided discussion and problem solving, negotiation gaming, mini debate, and student led presentations.

    Lectures will cover legal theory, audio visual presentations of process, guest lecturers, and analysis of some of the more complex areas of the course. Where possible lectures will be recorded and made available online. Lecture content (and pre reading for lectures) will be linked to seminar topics.

    Attendance at seminars each week is not compulsory, but active preparation for and engagement in the seminar process is central to student capacity to synthesise and evaluate the themes of the course. Attendance at seminars where students have been allocated a role play in partnership with other students is compulsory. Students will be expected to engage in self directed seminar preparation including internet research, focussed research, and investigation of different topics, and preparation for guided discussion on allocated topics. Preparation will range from reading and commenting on texts and materials, investigation of different approaches to ADR theory and practice, and may include informal evaluative inquiry of other persons, students, or organisation. This preparation will link directly to seminar programs.

    Students will also present their own assessable short group presentations on chosen areas of interest during seminars.

    The scaffolding of lectures, student led preparation and investigation, synthesis of this investigation and preparation in seminars, and finally student led presentations, aims to invest students with the basic knowledge and theory of ADR, and to enable them to build on this knowledge and theory in a self directed and inquisitive manner, sharing their perspectives and conclusions with their class. Students will draw on their own and others’ research and investigation, assisted by tutors, in developing a strongly analytical evaluative approach, that supports curiosity and investigation in this varied and interesting area, as well as encouraging imaginative approaches to ADR in a local and global context whilst maintaining an ethos of robust critical evaluation.
    Workload

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements. The University expects full time students to devote a total of 48 hours per week to their studies. In addition to 36 contact hours, students can expect to complete seminar preparation in approximately 2 – 4 hours per seminar topic. This does not include preparation for small group presentation, or other assessment.
    Learning Activities Summary
    Students will attend lectures, participate in active exercises in workshops and seminars, and engage in critical evaluation of a range of ADR processes and experiences in a range of contexts. Seminars will entail small group discussion, individual presentations and engagement, small group exercises, and the opportunity to engage in discussion with practitioners in the ADR field.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment % of final mark Due date Length Individual/Group/Redeemable? Learning Outcomes
    4x Portfolio/blog or online journal/reflective exercises  20% total - 5% each 7, 14, 28 August and 4 Sept 500-600 words each Individual, not redeemable
    Group Presentation 20% - 5% handout + bibliography, 5% proposal + plan (1500 words), 10% presentation 11 October September 2017 (in class) 1,500 words Group, not redeemable
    Essay 60% 23 October 2017 3,000 words Individual, not redeemable
    Assessment Detail
    1 Learning portfolio – 4x reflective portfolio entries each of 500-600 words on specified activities undertaken in class, to be submitted via MyUni. Details of these activities and submission formats will be provided via MyUni. Grade criteria will be provided via MyUni. 20%.

    2 Group presentation – groups of 4 to prepare 10 minute presentation, supported by written outline/bibliography and summative handout 20%. Each group will make a presentation to the class on an ADR topic of their choosing. The presentation will be for a maximum of 10 minutes, followed by 5 minutes for class discussion. In addition to actual presentation, each group is required to provide an abstract of 500 words setting out the topic of the presentation and a brief summary, and a bibliography (not included in the word limit). Both of these documents are to be provided to the Course Coordinator for inclusion in a program for the day by 12 noon on the day immediately prior to the scheduled presentation. The presentation and abstract will be assessed together for 20% of the total mark in the course. Assessment is based on the content of the presentation and abstract, the handling of questions and discussion in the presentation, and observing limits. If the abstract is late without good reason, 10% of the total mark for the assessment will be forfeited. Students will receive written criteria based feedback on their presentation. Presentation guidelines and assessment criteria for presentations will be made available on MyUni.

    3 Essay – 3,000 words, on set topics. Due date TBA.
    Submission and Assessment criteria for the essay will be provided via MyUni.
    Submission
    Late submission : When an assessment is submitted after the due date, and without an extension, 5% of the total mark possible will be deducted for every 24 hours or part thereof that it is late, including each day on a weekend. For example, an essay that is submitted after the due date and time but within the first 24 hour period, and that has been graded at 63%, will have 5% deducted, for a final grade of 58%. An essay that is more than 24 hours late will lose 10%, etc. Hard copy submissions made after 5.00pm on a Friday will be assumed to have been submitted on the next business day and will be penalised 5% per day for every day including weekend days and public holidays. This penalty may be increased where the assignment is to be completed in a period of less than a week. Extensions on medical or compassionate grounds will be in accordance with University Policy (see below). As far as practicable, each item of assessment will be returned to students within 3 weeks of submission. Assessment that forms part of mid semester assessment will be as far as practicable returned within 2 weeks of submission.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

    Approval of Results by Board of Examiners
    Students are reminded that all assessment results are subject to approval (and possible  moderation/change) by the Law School’s Board of Examiners. Assessment  results at the University are not scaled. Under the Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy, students are assessed ‘by reference to their performance against pre-determined criteria and standards … and not by ranking against the performance of the student cohort in the course’. However, under that same policy, the Board of Examiners (as the relevant Assessment Review Committee for courses at Adelaide Law School) is  required to ‘ensure comparability of standards and consistency’ in assessment. On occasions, the Board of Examiners will form the view that some moderation is required to ensure the comparability of standards and consistency across courses and years, and accordingly provide fairness to all law students. All assessment results are therefore subject to approval (and possible change) until confirmed by the Board of Examiners and posted on Acess Adelaide at the end of each semester.
  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support

    The University Writing Centre provides academic learning and language development services and resources for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    The centre offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking, time management, oral presentation skills, referencing techniques and exam preparation for success at university through seminars, workshops and individual consultations.

    For more information please check out the Writing Centre website at http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/  

    Lex Salus Program

    Lex Salus was founded in 2013 by Adelaide Law School Wellbeing officers Ms Corinne Walding, Ms Kellie Toole and Dr Mark Giancaspro. Lex Salus is an initiative of the Adelaide Law School aimed at raising law student awareness of the importance of mental, physical and nutritional health across all year levels of the degree, and of the various counselling, disability and equity services both within and outside the University that can provide help. Research shows that law students, both in Australia and in many jurisdictions around the world, experience the highest levels of stress, anxiety and depression out of any other discipline. Many do not get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet or achieve a realistic work/life balance. Making matters worse, they are unwilling or afraid to speak up for fear of feeling 'weak' or because of the negative stigma that attaches to seeking help. Lex Salus is dedicated to tackling these problems head-on.

    Counselling Service

    The University Counselling Service provides a free and confidential service to all enrolled students. We encourage you to contact the Counselling service on 8313 5663 to make an appointment to deal with any issues that may be affecting your study and life. More information is available at https://www.adelaide.edu.au/counselling_centre/

  • Policies & Guidelines

    This section contains links to relevant assessment-related policies and guidelines - all university policies.

    Further information regarding the Law School Policies and Procedures in relation to Supplementary Assessment, Extensions, and Remarks etc can be found at:

    https://unified.adelaide.edu.au/group/law-school/policies-and-procedures

    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating

    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. All students must be familiar with the Adelaide Law School Enrolment Guide 2014, and should note in particular the sections relating to plagiarism, grievance procedures and academic conduct within the Law School and the University.

    Plagiarism is a serious matter and is treated as such by the Law School and the University. Please be aware that “academic dishonesty” (which goes beyond plagiarism) can be a ground for a refusal by the Supreme Court of South Australia to refuse to admit a person to practice as a legal practitioner in South Australia.

    Academic honesty is an essential aspect of ethical and honest behaviour, which is central to the practice of the law and an understanding of what it is to be a lawyer.

  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.