Course Outline

LAW405 Legal Dispute Resolution

Course Coordinator:Simone Pearce ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 2

UniSC Sunshine Coast

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


This course will develop your knowledge and understanding of dispute resolution (DR) as an integral part of the Australian legal system. You will gain an understanding of interpersonal conflict theory and the principles of non-adversarial dispute resolution. The course will enable you to assess the needs and interests of disputants and to identify and use the most appropriate DR process to resolve a dispute. A number of non-adversarial processes will be examined, and you will have the opportunity to develop basic practical skills in negotiation and mediation.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 1 hour of learning materials, or equivalent, per week 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On-campus group discussion, application and skill development. 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

ADR Processes



Restorative Justice and Processes

Therapeutic Justice and other approaches

What level is this course?

400 Level (Graduate)

Demonstrating coherence and breadth or depth of knowledge and skills. Independent application of knowledge and skills in unfamiliar contexts. Meeting professional requirements and AQF descriptors for the degree. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory or developing knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally undertaken in the third or fourth full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate understanding of the differences between traditional adversarial and non-adversarial approaches to dispute resolution and be able to critically evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of each Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
2 Demonstrate critical understanding of the different processes of dispute resolution in Australia and the different contexts in which they occur.? Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
3 Understand and critically evaluate the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) within the Australian legal system Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
4 Understand and critically evaluate the role of professionals in ADR processes and their duties and obligations. Creative and critical thinker
5 Demonstrate an application of practical skills using initiative and judgement in complex interpersonal dispute resolution and conflict management Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker
6 Develop self-awareness and skills in critical analysis of personal responses to interpersonal conflict, and as a participant in an DR process? Creative and critical thinker
7 Demonstrate an advanced ability to communicate effectively, coherently and persuasively in writing appropriate to the needs of the relevant audience. Knowledgeable
Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


LAW202 and LAW204 and enrolled in any Law Program.


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

There are activities in canvas that provide feedback on understanding of key concepts and as scaffold for further learning in each of the weeks of semester. 

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Written Piece Individual 30%
1500 words
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Oral Individual 30%
15 minutes
Week 9 Online Submission
All 3 Activity Participation Individual 40%
Total time 1 hour, with three participants.
Refer to Format In Class
All - Assessment Task 1:Written Assignment
To demonstrate your critical understanding of the role of DR within the Australian legal system, and the role of professionals in negotiating outcomes for disputants in ADR processes
Product: Written Piece
This is a 1500 word individual assignment in the form of advice to a client.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and understanding
1 3
Critical analysis and reasoning
2 4
Structure and writing
All - Assessment Task 2:Presentation
To demonstrate an understanding of the way legal dispute resolution processes have effectiveness and legitimacy; the validity of the outcomes reached and the legal structures and mechanisms that make the outcomes binding, both domestically, and internationally.
Product: Oral
An oral presentation in the style explained in the instructuions, recorded in canvas.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and Understanding
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 2 3 4 5
Communication and expression
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
All - Assessment Task 3:Mediation Participation
To demonstrate an understanding of the nature and conduct of mediation as a dispute resolution process, and the benefits and deficits in mediation. To apply knowledge in a practical setting to a legal problem.
Product: Activity Participation
Individual assessment, conducted in a group.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Knowledge and Understanding
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Critical thinking and problem solving
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Communication and clarity of expression; use of appropriate mediation skills/ tools
1 5 6 7

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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General Enquiries

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