Appropriate Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice - LW626

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5) DR CM Dolder







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.


Spring term.

Method of assessment

100% coursework consisting of two essays.

Preliminary reading

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete the module will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the legal and regulatory issues surrounding dispute resolution processes, including arbitration, mediation and conciliation.
2. Acquire theoretical and practical knowledge and understanding of a topic, which is of increasing relevance in the context of the international and domestic legal framework.
3. Engage in the practical application of their knowledge, through consideration of dispute scenarios and case law, and to participate in critical debate of the issues raised.
4. Have a clear understanding of the concepts and principles that govern the choice of the most common dispute resolution processes and have basic awareness of less usual options, including early neutral evaluation and online dispute resolution.
5. Develop realistic understanding of the role of the lawyer in the area of civil disputing.
6. On presentation of a dispute scenario, be able to identify relevant strategies, principles, and case law applicable for thorough analysis and evaluation.
7. Engage in critical analysis and evaluation of the relationship between conventional forms of adjudication and engagement with ADR processes, and how this impacts on the legal system.
8. Have the basic tools to help with advising and representing clients in the ADR process.
9. have a thorough knowledge of the legal rules relating to conflict resolution.
10. have an understanding of the broader social, economic and political issues underlying the developments taking place in the context of conflict resolution.
11. have developed skills that enable them to appropriately identify and justify the use of different methods of conflict resolution in a variety of situations.
12. have cultivated key skills in summarising, developing and sustaining argument through the analysis of dispute scenarios.

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