Appropriate Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice - LW626

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) MS S Lewis-Anthony







In recent times, 'alternative' forms of dispute resolution (ADR) have been widely recognised as possessing the potential to limit some of the damage caused by civil disputes. Therefore, a lawyer’s skill-set ideally should include a well-developed ability to analyse, manage and resolve disputes both within and outside the usual setting of the courtroom. Thus, the module’s primary aim is to introduce students to the legal and regulatory issues surrounding methods of dispute resolution aside from litigation. Specifically, the module focuses on the practical factors relevant to selecting appropriate dispute resolution in distinct circumstances, including, for example, the employment and family law arenas.
Students will be provided with the resources to acquire a detailed theoretical and practical understanding of the contextual constraints associated with the use of different forms of dispute resolution and will be encouraged to develop their ability to evaluate the effectiveness of particular interventions, especially when used as an adjunct to court proceedings. The module tracks historic and current developments in relation the use of ADR, highlighting how government policy and courts appear, increasingly, to sanction failure to use ADR. This may well enhance students’ opportunities to hone career-advancing expertise in the field.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars approximately.

Method of assessment

100% coursework consisting of two essays.

Indicative reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the module will be able to:
1.Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the legal and regulatory issues surrounding dispute resolution processes, including arbitration, mediation and conciliation.
2.Apply their knowledge to the analysis and evaluation of a complex dispute scenario, identify relevant strategies, principles, and case law, and participate in critical debate on the issues raised.
3.Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the concepts and principles that govern the choice of the most common dispute resolution processes, and of less usual options, including early neutral evaluation and online dispute resolution.
4.Critically evaluate the role of the lawyer in the area of civil disputing.
5.Critically analyse and evaluate the relationship between conventional forms of adjudication and engagement with ADR processes, and how this impacts on the legal system.
6.Demonstrate a detailed understanding of the skills and attributes necessary to effectively advise and represent clients in the ADR process.
7.Identify broader social, economic and political issues underlying the developments taking place in the context of conflict resolution.
8.Identify and justify the use of different methods of conflict resolution in a variety of situations.

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